On Friday, 6 November, in the framework of the working visit to Latvia, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk took part in the tenth annual Riga conference, which focuses on EU's geoeconomic role, security challenges in the information age and hybrid warfare, Transatlantic cooperation this year.
«The world has changed dramatically. And my country, and not only my country – the entire free world is facing huge challenges,” emphasized Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
He reminded that the international community had the so-called golden era after the fall of the Berlin Wall and recalled the words by Ronald Reagan: “Mr Gorbachov, tear down this wall”.
“But Mr Putin is deaf. He decided to build the new wall. And he decided to draw new lines after the Second World War,” said the Prime Minister of Ukraine.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk continued that this process started in 2008 in Georgia: “Frankly speaking, the global reaction on the Russian aggression against Georgia had to be more consistent. We digested this aggression. Putin crossed the red line and then, afterwards, Russian president and Russian regime decided to illegally annex Crimea, to invade Donetsk and Luhansk and to start a large-scale offensive operation against the independent country. He is challenging the leadership of the free world”.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine accentuated that geopolitical challenges severely affect the economy. “After the Russian invasion we lost 20% of Ukrainian economy, the budget military expenditures exceeded 5%, we lost 65 out of 90 coal mines, we lost huge infrastructure. But the biggest losses are the losses of the human beings”.
“We need to realize that this challenge is to be addressed,” he said.
According to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the events in Syria demonstrate again that Putin “is challenging once again the European Union”: “Russians decided to build in Syria a combat base, as they are the closest allies and closest supporters of the dictator Bashar al-Assad. They are well aware that this crisis will affect the European Union, as a refugee crisis is a disaster for the European Union. He knows this and you know that”.
The Head of Ukrainian Government highlighted he truly commends the decision of the EU and the United States of America on the imposing sanctions against Russia, “both linked to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the Russian invasion in Donetsk and Luhansk”.
The best recipe and the best response to the aggression is “to be united, to act boldly and always to be on the front line, not to be on the back line: “Russian aggression against Ukraine is not just the war against Ukraine. He waged the war against the European values and against the values of the free world”.
“This invasion and all this kleptocratic totalitarian regime has huge dreadful implications on the global economy. Our prosperity and our safety is in jeopardy,” he emphasized.
“Let us not allow anyone to violate the UN Charter, to put in jeopardy our nations. Let’s stay united and let’s fight for our freedoms and liberties, for our strong and robust economies,” summed up Arseniy Yatsenyuk.