In the course of the working visit to the Netherlands, President Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech in Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, having discussed the issue of European values, stability and fight against terrorism with the attendees.
The Head of State emphasized that Ukrainians had been struggling for freedom and democracy since the Revolution of Dignity. European integration has become a national idea of Ukrainians. At the same time, the EU faces constant pressure of terrorism, refugees and Russian aggressive policy. That is why many Europeans are tired and upset. They call themselves Eurosceptics and stand for concessions in relations with Russia. “But the future belongs to the brave men,” the Head of State noted.
The President said that Russia had tried to buy Ukraine and then to destroy it as a state. “Some people say that this is the war for the land, not for the values, thus, it is not an issue of Europe. I do not agree. Occupied territories are under dark clouds: lawlessness, intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.
The Head of State emphasized that European unity, rule of values and integrity of borders are the main foundations of the EU’s existence. However, Russia rejects that. “West strives for a circle of trust; Russia wants a circle of influence,” the President said.
“Liberalization of the EU’s policy will not stop Russia. In the long-term perspective, Russia will seek domination, not compromise. Moscow believes petrodollars can buy European soul,” the Head of State emphasized. “The value of freedom, inter alia, personal freedom, is more precious than geopolitical interests of major players,” the President said noting that Russia’s policy was aimed to split the EU.
The Head of State emphasized that the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU was a chance for Ukraine to become more developed, reformed and democratic. That is why Ukrainians count on a wise decision of Dutch citizens at the referendum on the given Agreement.
According to the President, European and Ukraine are facing times of trouble and it is very important for everyone to achieve peace in Ukraine. “For Ukraine – because it is a chance for survival. For the EU – because neighbor with military conflict causes discomfort. For Russia – because sanctions really work,” the Head of State said.
The President noted that the world had changed in recent years. Relations between Russia and western states are now affected by Crimea, Donbas and Syria. “Trading with dictators is often more profitable than supporting democracies. But let us hope that the EU will not bury its conscience in Ukraine,” the President said. According to him, the world should not forget the victims of Russian attacks and do everything to bring the perpetrators of MH-17 tragedy to justice.
“United we stand, divided we fall,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.