Distinguished Mr. Prime Minister, dear Stephen!
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am pleased to welcome a true friend of the Ukrainian people - Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper.
This is the third visit to Ukraine during my presidency of a great friend of Ukraine. In fact, since the first hours of my presidency, and Stephen was with us at the inauguration, we felt a very strong support of the people of Canada, the Canadian Government and the Prime Minister. Stephen, I am very grateful for this support, it is very important for us.
First of all, I would like to thank you for a candid and constructive conversation. Symbolically, this conversation takes place before the meeting of G7 for an extremely important coordination to be held tomorrow in Germany.
You know that yesterday I held phone consultations with leaders of the United States and Germany, this morning I had an important meeting with Prime Minister of Japan and currently I had a very important and constructive dialogue with our friend, Mr. Harper.
The events that unfold around Ukraine clearly showed who is who on the international scene, who defends true values, who defends international law, and who is in isolation violating basic principles of international global security and ignoring international law .
Negotiations conducted today confirmed that we have a strong, effective and powerful support from Ottawa.
The words of Mr. Harper addressed directly to the President of Russia have already become eloquent: «Russia needs to get out of Ukraine».
On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I would like to thank you, Stephen, for such a strong and powerful rhetoric. We should call it like it is, we have to say directly, because the truth is on our side. Ukrainians appreciate your powerful statement.
Support of Canada at this crucial time for our country is very important for every Ukrainian. We feel this assistance not only in words, not only through political declarations, but through specific actions.
We are grateful to the Government of Canada for providing loans totaling more than 400 million Canadian dollars; technical and humanitarian assistance worth over 178 million Canadian dollars. We are grateful for non-lethal military weapons, containers with ankle boots, armor vests, which came in the most difficult times for the Ukrainian Armed Forces and allowed us to solve the immediate problems which then stood in front of our army. This also includes mobile hospitals and medical kits that saved and continue saving lives of Ukrainian soldiers.
During our meeting we discussed the deepening of Ukrainian-Canadian cooperation in the military field.
I am convinced that Mr. Harper's recently announced initiative to involve Canadian instructors in training Ukrainian soldiers will strengthen the defense potential of Ukraine and generate martial fraternity. Thank you for your instructors, we desperately need them! Friend in need is a friend indeed.
I would like to note the Canadian decision to allocate technical assistance and send experts for training the law enforcers of Ukraine. This fully fits into the concept of reformation of law enforcement bodies, and the Canadian experience is extremely valuable for us.
I am convinced that a successful reform of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine is an important step towards the European Union, and I thank the Prime Minister for his attention to these extremely important issues.
I would like to highlight the issue on the acceleration of the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Ukraine. I am confident that we have nothing to wait for. I am confident that this agreement should be signed. And at the next meeting of our group, we have every chance to sign the given agreement. We need to remove any trade restrictions between Canada and Ukraine - reliable partners not only politically, but also economically.
Interpersonal contacts also play a very important role. We will continue our consultations on the launch of a visa dialogue and concrete steps demonstrated by Canada in prolongation of visas they issue to Ukrainians.
One of the key issues today was the issue of deepening bilateral trade and investment.
Special attention was paid to the subject of bilateral humanitarian cooperation.
I would like to express gratitude to every Ukrainian Canadian for the assistance they provide to their Homeland. We are very grateful that the Ukrainian Canadian community doesn't stay aside and provides extremely powerful and effective assistance to Ukraine. We feel your support, and it is extremely important for us.
Canada is the largest Ukrainian home outside our country. I hope that the Canadian side will help create more favorable conditions for the enhancement of interpersonal contacts between our peoples.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen!
It is symbolic that our meeting takes place on the eve of the G7 Summit. Stephen Harper will depart there from Kyiv. It is very important for the leaders of the whole civilized world to keep on holding the line in countering the attempts to destroy the foundation of international security.
The key position we expect from our foreign partners is unity. The unity of G7. The unity of the European Union. Transatlantic unity. And solidarity with Ukraine. And we believe that this unity will be respected and continued, inter alia, due to the efforts of Mr. Prime Minister.
And we will do our best to restore the territorial integrity of our country and ensure that the flagrant violation of norms and principles of international law will not remain unpunished - it is related to both annexation of Crimea and aggression against Ukraine in the East.
Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister!
Thank you for your attention.