In the course of the annual Address to the Verkhovna Rada, President Petro Poroshenko emphasized that the people of Ukraine had chosen the European path. Thus, our common task is to bring everything in Ukraine to European standards.
The Head of State emphasized that the present Ukrainian government is deprived of “the torment of choice” in what direction it should promote Ukraine. “If earlier the government didn’t know where to go, how could it lead the people? If the elite got lost in two vectors, how could it show the way to the Ukrainian people? People took the initiative and determined the European course in the course of the Revolution of Dignity,” the President noted. He added that the given choice had been reaffirmed by voting in the presidential and parliamentary elections for the political forces that see the future of Ukraine in the united family of European nations.
“Heading towards the EU and NATO is obvious and irreversible. What we need is to choose the shortest route, means of transport and the best speed,” Petro Poroshenko said adding that he is willing to hold discussions with politicians, experts, international partners and the entire society. And the Address is just the beginning of such conversation.
The President emphasized that accession to NATO and the European Union is not for membership in the prestigious clubs. It is an issue of civilizational belonging and a guarantee of the independence of Ukraine. According to him, NATO after Russian aggression, when the post-war world system of security was destroyed, is the only body that has demonstrated its effectiveness and is a reliable system of collective security. And the European Union contains the political culture of rights and freedoms, decent living standards aspired by Ukrainians.
“Not only Ukraine is heading to Europe. Our task is to bring Europe to Ukraine. Everything must meet the European standards in Ukraine, including the level of welfare of our citizens. Ukrainian citizen must feel Europe even if he or she doesn’t leave the country,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.
He noted that too much needs to be done to achieve this goal. "It's hard to change the situation in the country, but the hardest thing is to change ourselves. But for many of us such a fate is a lucky chance not only to exist in times of change, but also to create them. And still the number of those who want changes and are willing to participate in them exceeds those who dread these changes or just see a benefit to keep the "status quo", leave everything as it is," the President said.
The Head of State noted that the driving force is the people of Ukraine that has become a true political backbone of reforms. “A creative post-industrial class of carriers of European values of freedom, responsibility, activity was formed in the country. The Ukrainian Parliament of this convocation proved that it has a reform-oriented majority. Its contours do not always coincide with the boundary between the authorities and the opposition, however this is not a disadvantage, but a plus, as the reforms are able to unite the poles,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized. According to him, the peculiarity of the Ukrainian political system, which distinguishes Ukraine favorably from its neighbors in the post-Soviet space, is the presence of a strong civil society, which is a proactive ally of the authorities in carrying out reforms.
The President reminded that in July he submitted to the Verkhovna Rada an urgent bill on the abolition of electronic declaration for public activists. He appealed to the deputies to support the document: "In order not to look like the President is good and the deputies are not, I am ready to admit that the introduction of declarations for this group was our common mistake and the mistakes must be corrected."
The Head of State reminded that the anniversary of the Ukrainian National Revolution of 1917-1921 is marked this year. “Ukraine failed to secure a sufficient level of international support and remained on its own with the aggressor. Short-sighted pacifism prevented timely creation of a real Ukrainian army and preparation for external aggression of both the white and the red ones,” the President noted. Due to this experience, the Ukrainian government pays great attention today to the involvement of foreign allies-partners and development of the Ukrainian army.
According to the President, the main thing that prevented the creation of the Ukrainian independent state at that time is the lack of internal unity, political discord. The President will keep opposing those who try to impose chaos and anarchy in Ukraine. “Once again, I urge all parties presented in the Parliament and those out of the Parliament to consider in a tough internal political struggle inherent to any democracy extremely difficult external conditions in which we are jointly building a European Ukraine. You want to fight against the President, the Government or the majority – that is why you are the opposition. But please do not destabilize Ukraine. We should cherish it together. And we must unite for it. Together, we will win,” the Head of State stressed.