President Petro Poroshenko is convinced that there is only one way for Ukraine to preserve its independence - membership in the EU and NATO.
“The developments of the recent years both in our country and in the world have shown that there is only one way for Ukraine to preserve our independence. We must become a great European state of happy people,” the Head of State said.
Petro Poroshenko noted that historians and philosophers had different views on the role and place of Ukraine in Europe: some of them said that Ukraine should be a bridge between east and west; others called us “gates of Europe”. “In 1920s-1930s, insightful Ukrainian intellectuals wrote that the future process of European unification cannot be complete without independent, sovereign, united Ukrainian state. That Russia, which at that time controlled Ukraine, would always show imperial ambitions and try to subjugate the whole Europe. More and more politicians in the west understand that without Ukraine's membership in the European Union, without Ukraine's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance, Europe will definitely be in danger," he said.
“This is not only Ukraine that needs this membership. The EU and NATO definitely need Ukraine to become a full-fledged member of these structures,” the Head of State emphasized.
"In 2024, we will apply for membership in the European Union. And I have no doubt that we will receive and start implementing the NATO Membership Action Plan," Petro Poroshenko said.
The President stated that Ukraine and the EU had come unprecedentedly closer to one another. “No non-NATO state has such close ties with the Alliance as Ukraine now. However, I emphasize that only a full-fledged membership in the EU and NATO will finally and irreversibly guarantee our Ukrainian state independence, our Ukrainian national security,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
"I emphasize that we will accede to these most powerful organizations as a country-regional leader ... As a country that has already substantially strengthened the eastern flank of the Alliance ... As a country that has defended not only itself, but also the entire European civilization from Russia's invasion," the Head of State noted.
"Probably someone thinks this goal is too ambitious, unrealistic. The state is still too weak. Just like the economy, which has just recovered from the protracted crisis caused by the war. And the number of poor people is still too high," Petro Poroshenko said.
"I understand that not everyone is ready to believe in the realism of the strategy I have announced. Will we immediately be admitted to NATO, will we be admitted to the European Union? Will we be a big country and a regional leader? Will we become the best in the whole sectors of the economy? Will we make it to high salaries, and even more so worthy pensions?" he added.
"Friends, haven’t we reached an incredible over the past five years when we saved the country from dismemberment, the economy from collapse when it seemed already inevitable, the people from the war?" the President asked.
"Many did not believe in 2014 that being caught off balance by the Russian aggression, we will remain an independent state. But we saved the country, preserved our independence and laid a solid foundation for a powerful European state," Petro Poroshenko said.
According to the President, many did not believe that the Association Agreement would be signed and ratified, that we would win a diplomatic battle with Russia for its ratification. He recalled Russia's steps to counteract the ratification of this document, from the referendum in the Netherlands to the attempts to block it in the European Parliament. "The agreement is in force and the EU share in our exports has exceeded 42%. But this is a reliable 42%. Nobody can imagine that he will ever close the market for Ukrainian goods," Petro Poroshenko said.