President Petro Poroshenko took part in festivities on occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Border Service of Ukraine and the graduation of the officers of the National Academy of the State Border Service of Ukraine. The Head of State handed over diplomas to graduates who finished the Academy with honors.
The President congratulated the graduates on their first officer rank. "You start your officer service in a difficult time for the country, but graduates of Bohdan Khmelnytsky National Academy of the State Border Service of Ukraine have always been a symbol of honor and valor, courage and loyalty to the military oath, prepared in all conditions to defend the Ukrainian border and land," the Head of State noted.
He noted that over the years the academy had trained more than ten thousand officers. Almost half of them fulfilled tasks in the ATO area, more than forty were awarded state awards.
"It is up to you to further develop the border service, multiply its achievements and shape the image of Ukraine hospitably meeting and welcoming the guests of our country who came to us with good intentions. And it is also up to you to repel those who will come to us with bad intentions," the President emphasized.
The Head of State wished the officers to be courageous defenders of Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity.
"I would like to emphasize the fraternity of the border guards and the Ukrainian army," Petro Poroshenko said. He recalled that recently the Ukrainian Armed Forces, according to the Global Firepower Analytical Center, had ranked eighth among the strongest armies in Europe. Moreover, they are the first among non-NATO countries. "Membership in this Defense Alliance (NATO - ed.) gives additional bonuses that would raise us even higher. This power and strength is a strong argument in favor of our full membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. We knock on their door not empty-handed," Petro Poroshenko said.
"But we should not lose firm ground. We are realists," the President emphasized, noting that the Russian army does not belong to this European rating, while in the global ranking it is the second most powerful after the United States.
"For us, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are an army of an aggressor that annexed Crimea, occupied part of the Donbas and is always ready for the full-scale invasion of the holy Ukrainian land. That is why we have a huge work ahead to strengthen the defense capabilities of our state," he said.