President: Lessons of hundred years ago are crucial for the democratic community around the globe
President Petro Poroshenko reminded that 2018 will mark a century since the launch of deep democratic changes not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe. In 1918, as result of downfall of empires, dozens of nations restored or regained their independence. They were the nations of Central Europe, Baltic and Balkan regions. They also were the nations that had been under the rule of the czarist Russia. It was stated by the President in a meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions of foreign states and international organizations accredited in Ukraine.
“But today it is not only about commemorating those events, but above all about learning the lessons drawn from the history. Too many parallels are so noticeable from the standpoint of today. The same epicentre of destabilisation in Europe. So painfully similar are crazy ideas that were behind the Russia of Bolsheviks and that are behind the Russia of today. No less similar are the cynical methods of its aggression. Back then, as it is today, a young Ukrainian state became a target of Russia’s assault. And it is for the only reason of willing to be free and independent. In its hatred toward Ukraine, both red and white Russia displayed an impressive unity,” Petro Poroshenko said.
The President emphasized that we had lacked an appropriate international support back then. “We were not heard in Versailles. What happened afterward everybody knows: decades of blackmailing, occupation and terror of the Soviet regime that spilled over to many nations around the globe,” he said.
“Take Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Take Yalta post-war division on zones of influence and Iron Curtain. Take Moscow aggression against Hungary and Czechoslovakia, or against Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. I will keep repeating: if only the democratic Europe had not fallen into treacherous compromises with the Russia of Bolsheviks and Ukraine’s democracy and independence had been secured, than many tragedies of the twentieth century would have been prevented,” the Head of State noted.
He underscored that the lessons of hundred years ago should be learned not only by us in Ukraine, but also in the democratic community around the globe.
“The first lesson is about the democratic values that cannot be a subject for trading, nor for compromises. If paraphrasing Winston Churchill’s words, I would say: when between comfort and democratic values we chose comfort, than we will lose both in the end,” the President said. The second lesson is “about attempts to appeasing aggressor, which always lead to a greater appetite from the aggressor and to a new aggression, with no exception”. Herewith, he called for a “firm answer of no compromises to those who violate norms of the international law”.
“The Kremlin is never to be trusted, despite the regime it is masked under – czarist, communist or pseudo-democratic one,” Petro Poroshenko told the first lesson and added that “the history, including of the last one hundred years, confirms that aggression, lies, manipulations, repression, and suppression of free speech is present in either form of this state”.
“Thus, the task of the civilised world is to secure that we always have effective tools to restrain and to counter any attempts of Russian aggression – be it military, economic or fake news that are a very common means of attacking democracy today,” the President noted.
President Petro Poroshenko urged the Ukrainian politicians to understand the threats of the external aggression. “I will keep calling my compatriots, supporters of opposition: one has always to balance the degree of internal political competition while taking into due account the situation on our eastern border,” he stressed.
“The entourage of empty tents around this Palace (Mariyinsky Palace - ed.), which you saw, dear guests, is a display of pseudo-politicians, who lost the sense of balance and went bankrupt,” Petro Poroshenko addressed the diplomats.
According to the President, this is also a display that Ukrainians are wise and will not let the Russian dictatorship to use the Ukrainian democracy in its imperialistic interests.
“And another lesson, which has been proven by history on many occasions. The lesson, which is so known for Moscow, unfortunately. The most effective tool against the restoration of imperial ambitions and appetites of Russia is a democratic, successful and independent Ukraine,” the President emphasized.
The Head of State noted: “Everything that Russia does today has one aim, which is to return us into so-called “sphere of its influence”, and to destroy the Ukrainian statehood as such”.
“Ukraine stands at a forefront. I have told about it on many occasions. And I will repeat it again: it is the Ukrainian army, which, at costs of lives of its heroes, defends peace, stability, democracy and freedom in Europe. It is in Ukraine that the creation of Europe is ongoing,” the President said.