European Council President Donald Tusk Speaks to Ukrainian Parliament

While on a working visit to Ukraine, the European Council President Donald Tusk spoke to the members of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's Parliament


Photo European Union


During a speech given to members of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament, European Council President Donald Tusk advised politicians to avoid internal conflicts, refrain from the temptations of radical nationalism and populism, and believe in democracy and Ukrainian youth.

He stated this at a special meeting of the Verkhovna Rada, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“No one has the right to instruct the masters how to equip their own home. I share this and do not intend to interfere with your work, but maybe you will accept my recommendations because they come from the bottom of my heart. First, do not hurt one another too much in the upcoming election. Your history, as well as the history of my people [Poles], argues that internal conflicts in our two countries are the greatest gift for a third party,” Tusk said.

According to him, it should also be remembered that Ukraine’s opponents in Europe are waiting for any reason to give up on the current solidarity between Brussels and Kyiv.

“A sharp conflict between you may prove to be precisely this reason, so don’t argue too much and stay united in cases of vital importance to Ukraine,” Tusk said.

Secondly, Tusk advised Ukrainian lawmakers to avoid the temptations of radical nationalism and populism, as Ukraine has done so far.

“The dangerous temptations of radical populism are born of complexes and weaknesses, and Ukrainians have all the rights and grounds to feel proud and strong now,” Tusk said.

Thirdly, he advised MPs not to imitate neighbors and European politicians who want to convince everyone that democracy based on freedom, human rights, freedom of thought and speech is a thing of the past and an outdated model of the state, and now is the time for “authoritarian democracy.”

“We have to defend fundamental values in the interests of our citizens and citizens of Europe. This is why the heroes of the Revolution of Dignity died,” Tusk said referring to the Maidan Revolution which is commemorating its fifth anniversary.

Fourthly, he advised Ukrainian politicians to build a virtuous state together. “I ask everyone to believe that honesty and transparency are needed, not because it is a requirement of the EU, but because your citizens need it. Do not stop positive changes, even if they are painful to someone,” he said.

“When we, the Poles, started our journey into Europe, Pope John Paul II told the world: ‘There can be no just Europe without the independence of Poland marked on its map.’ Here and now I want to say that there can be no just Europe without the independence of Ukraine marked on its map. There can be no secure Europe without secure Ukraine. Simply put, there can be no Europe without Ukraine.”

He added that he would always remember the blue flags with golden stars raised on the Khreshchatyk Street in Kyiv during the Revolution of Dignity and the EU anthem “Ode to Joy,” which was heard throughout Ukraine.

“I often say to my colleagues in Brussels: do not teach them [Ukrainians] to be Europe – learn from them what Europe is. Let me now repeat the words that I once told the EU leaders: only those who stand in solidarity with Ukraine, has the right to be called a European, and those, who are ready to sell Ukraine, sell the future of Europe,” Tusk added.

Source Ukrinform
date 19.02.2019
categories Ukraine and the EU
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