Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Speaks at the Atlantic Council

Jon Huntsman,
Atlantic Council;
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Frederick Kempe,
Atlantic Council

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Washington, D.C.

Time: 6:20 p.m. EDT
Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014

Transcript by
Federal News Service
Washington, D.C.


JON HUNTSMAN: Mr. President, General Scowcroft, esteemed colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to welcome the President of Ukraine, His Excellency Petro Poroshenko to the Atlantic Council. Welcome, Mr. President, to you and your good delegation, including Ambassador Motsyk, our great U.S. Ambassador Geoff Pyatt, who we’re very proud of. It’s an honor to have a leader with us tonight who had demonstrated profound courage in standing up for his nation’s right to determine its own future.

This evening we will hear from the president on the current crisis and honor his leadership a little bit later on with the Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award.

We’re delighted to honor you, Mr. President, in the presence of so many of our board members, our regular members, as well as so many ambassadors and other distinguished guests who are here to honor you. But I also want to welcome our audience watching on television or online, especially all of those in Ukraine who have stayed up very late to follow our proceedings.

We are honored, President Poroshenko, at you coming to the Atlantic Council at this most perilous point in Ukraine’s 23 years as an independent state. Russia and its forces are challenging Ukraine’s sovereignty even as we meet. With a tenuous cease-fire now in place, Ukraine’s future remains in play.

The Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award recognizes global leaders who have made exceptional, distinctive contributions to the strengthening of the trans-Atlantic relationship, and there is no leader doing more today to defend the values of the Atlantic Community than President Poroshenko.

Ukraine is on the frontlines of defending the international order that has delivered security and stability since the end of the Cold War. That’s why back in February the council stood up its Ukraine in Europe Initiative. This initiative galvanizes international support for an independent Ukraine and aims to strengthen Ukraine’s security, preserve its territorial integrity and advance democratic, economic and governance reforms.

We have been able to be effective in our work, thanks to a talented team and a great group of supporters, many of whom are here with us tonight. And I want to thank all of the council board members who have stepped forward this spring to ensure that we launch and see two success this most ambitious initiative.

I particularly want to thank one of our newest board members, George Chopivsky, for the Chopivsky Family Foundation support. It is extraordinary. I also want to offer a special word of thanks to the leaders and supporters of the Ukrainian World Congress, who are here with us tonight. Earlier today we launched a new partnership aimed at making our work even more effective.

So thank you for your leadership, Eugene Czolij and Paul Grod, president and vice president of the Ukrainian World Congress respectively. We are grateful for those who have stood behind your charitable trust support for our work: Ian Ihnatowycz, Marta Witer, Natalie Jaresko, Lenna Koszarny – both of Horizon Capital – and Jim Temerty. Thank you all so very much for your support.

President Poroshenko is in Washington not only at a time of great challenge but also of great opportunity. After all, President Poroshenko was elected in the first round in May, winning a majority in every region across the nation, based on the prospect of a better future – indeed, a future for Ukraine and Europe.

Mr. President, it’s a great honor and privilege to turn this podium over to you. You are welcome. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT PETRO POROSHENKO: Thank you. Thank you very much indeed. (Applause.) Thank you. This is a unique feeling. You feel yourself at home. And I thank you very much indeed for creating this atmosphere, dear distinguished audience, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends. For me it’s a great pleasure to have this meeting with you today, and I am honored to have an opportunity to speak before such a distinguished audience.

First, of course I would like to thank the Atlantic Council for the hosting this wonderful event and for their honoring me with their Global Citizen Award. The real award winner is of course not me, no doubt. It is Ukrainian people. And during this winter, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians participated in the revolution of dignity and to show their resolve to build a democratic European society, free from the corruption, fighting for freedom, fighting for democracy. Those men and women fought for their rights to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Many gave their lives to make it happen, and I’d like to dedicate this award to the fallen heroes – patriots who sacrificed their lives so that Ukraine’s future would be among democratic nations. And this is very important. (Applause.)

When on that November 21st – historic date, by the way – November 21st, we launch the Orange Revolution in 2004. And Ambassador Herbst remember that. November 21st – exactly that date – it was the date when the government of (Azarov ?) and Yanukovych make decision to stop the European integration – on November 21st, year 2013. Hundreds of students and young people was – they know exactly the address where they should go – Maidan Nezalezhnosti – square of independence.

And that was the first day when they appeared – the first hundreds of people – young people, not a member of any political party, a representative of an NGO and civil society, demanding that they not allowed anybody to take back from Ukraine the European perspective.

Can you imagine that these hundreds of people – hundreds of young boys and girls strongly believe that everything depend on them, and their strong spirit allow to all of us to win this revolution, and then later, has a name – revolution of dignity. A very nice name. And we believe that – (inaudible) – November 29th, when all of us were in Vilnius, to create the pressure, coordinated with the leader of European countries – make them pressured to push him to sign up this association agreement. Unfortunately, all the efforts was useless. Yanukovych simply sell our hopes to Russian – to Putin.

And I’m proud of my country, and I’m proud to be Ukrainian, that we find out a mechanism how to stop this process. And on November 29th, and the December 1st, can you imagine that, in a normal, ordinary European capital, more than 1 million people was on the street the very next day after they rejected to sign the association agreement?

And I said, OK, we have lots of experience for the massive rally in every European capital. Can you imagine that there were no broken – one window glasses? One flower was not broken. It was such a high level of self-organizing. And even if, on the bank of a street where the administration of the president was situated, the group of one or two hundred provocateur tried to demonstrate the absolutely different character of our revolution of dignity, the people will stop them – stop them to keep the dignity. And the Maidan one, but every revolution, it has to defend their achievement. Therefore, the fight continues.

All of you know very well what is going on in my country. We face the blatant aggression from our neighbor – the country that we used to call our friend, the Russian Federation. First, Russia (cynically ?) took advantage of the political crisis in Ukraine, and as they called, silently occupied the Crimea. When we don’t have a power, when we don’t have a government, when we don’t have an army, they use this opportunity.

Then it flooded the Donetsk and Lugansk region of our country with a terrorist to spread chaos among the peaceful people imitating the civil conflict. Our army is facing an attack from one of the biggest military power in the world, but our brave soldiers are holding back their aggression of the authoritarian regime that is willing to go further and to extend its control as far as it will be able to. What expect in Russian to spark the fire in the (Hierchiaev ?), Odessa, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Nikolaev region and have half of Ukraine in (half ?). And that was the situation when I become our president. It’s hard to understand what kind of danger we have in front of us at the beginning and in the middle of May. But I never, ever see Ukraine so pro-Ukrainian as now. I never, ever see Ukraine so pro-European as now. I never, ever see such a big number of Ukrainian flags on the territory when they pretended to be pro-Russian. South of the Zaporizhia region, Dnipropetrovsk, (Hierchiaev ?), Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson. Who made this? Putin. Putin remind us how to be Ukrainian and how important is our country for us, and how important is our soul for us, and how important is our language for us, how important is our territory for us. And that’s (great ?). A fantastic European future for my nation. I’m proud of my nation and I’m proud –


And today, I’m feeling here among the friends. United States is a country that knows firsthand what it’s like to fight for the freedom. We learn it just now. Moreover, you know how to win. We need the consolidated support of our partner to confront the attack on our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We need to hear the world speak in one voice against the uncivilized behavior. We must stop the aggressor now, so tomorrow we won’t – he won’t stop us. Ladies and gentlemen, Ukraine is under attack because of its decision to follow its own way, to take a step for its independence. Yes, our enemy is strong and better prepared, but with your support, and with our strong spirit, we will win this battle, because the truth is on our side. And I have no doubt that the leadership of the free democratic world has created for Ukraine new opportunity. And I know exactly how to win the peace, and I promise you I win the peace. And I know exactly how to make reform. Not after the war, but now. That’s why I send the anti-corruption law now in the parliament. Unfortunately, without the president, they don’t want it. (They ?) come back and push the parliament to vote for anti-corruption law, I promise you.

On the 26th of October, we have a presidential election. Oh – parliamentary election.


For me, now, it’s the same. (Laughter.) And I think that this is very, very demonstrative. I like the black and white picture – no shadow, no grey. And it is a party of peace – and this is a presidential party and my supporters. And there is a party of war, I think very irresponsible and very dangerous for my country. And I think that we, people of peace, win this battle for Ukraine. We do not allow to make the (internal ?) front because I’m sure we can win only when we would be united. And what is the most important thing now? What is the global world is already demonstrate? Look, in January, nobody can even believe that European Union find out an opportunity to vote unanimously 28 countries in a sanction in support of Ukraine. We do it. We unite Europe. Can you imagine? We unite Europe. (Laughter, applause.)

And we do it second-, third-term. The crucial importance was the leadership of the United States, and we count on you, and we count on the trans-Atlantic solidarity with Ukraine. We are polite enough, not asking the NATO membership perspective now. (Chuckles.) But we keep it mind. (Laughter.) I promise you. And – but now we are very responsible, and we work for the – improving the security, improving the defense of my country, improving, providing the energy reform, anti-corruption reform, rule of law. Please, Ukraine need you. We welcome you at Ukraine. Consider and remember Ukraine as a part – have some part of Ukraine in your heart. This is what we need now. Thank you very much, indeed. (Applause.)
FREDERICK KEMPE: President Poroshenko, thank you so much for those powerful words, heartwarming words, and also showing a calm and incredible composure and humor even in a situation that we realize is – where there are existential threats to your country. And we are honored at the Atlantic Council that we are able to honor you.
Senator Menendez will be here after our moderated conversation to present you with the Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award and make some remarks of his own.
We will miss your presence in New York on Sunday, but we’ll use footage from tonight’s event in Sunday, where we will present our global citizen awards and the honor honorees, President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, former President Shimon Peres of Israel, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Robert De Niro and – (laughter) – and an American pianist and composer Llewelyn Sanchez-Werner. This is just wonderful that we can honor you in this way. And you are right. It’s an honor to you and it’s an honor to the bravery of the people of Ukraine.
I want to start a conversation here. I’ll ask a couple of questions, then turn to the audience. But one of the questions that keeps coming up in all our conversations about Ukraine is the X factor, which is President Putin. You have had the benefit of spending more time talking to him than I would guess anyone in this room. Give us a sense of the man. What’s possible? You talked about what could be achieved in the joint session of Congress today and – which was just a remarkable, remarkable speech and a remarkable moment. What is possible with him in terms of an arrangement that would protect all the things you want to protect in your country? And give us a sense of what you think he wants and a sense of the man. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: Frankly speaking, I am not the right person – (laughter) – to answer this question. I doubt that there are too many persons in the world who can explain that. But frankly speaking, I think the relationship of Putin to the Ukrainian crisis is very emotional, and because of that, very unpredictable. And that’s why we should take very seriously the danger Ukraine has now, and that’s why our behavior should be very responsible. And the coordination of our action should be very effective. And that was actually my purpose for the whole – the whole of my visit to United States and Canada. Yesterday I was in Canada and I was really impressed, the level of the reception and level of the atmosphere we have yesterday Ottawa and today in Washington.
You feel that Ukraine now will start to be a most important problem for the Americans and Canadians. I can’t even imagine that. For those leaders – some of your leaders simply don’t know where Ukraine are. I’m not meaning the president and anybody in the government, but that was true. Now, how big achievement is it that the problem in Ukraine they start to accept and imagine like their own personal problem? And I think that the – what we need now, if you’re asking me –

Senator, we are waiting for you. (Laughter.)

MR. KEMPE: Welcome, Senator.

PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: And what is – what we need now from the whole world, just two things: unity, because only unity can keep the aggressor in isolation; and solidarity with Ukraine, to demonstrate that we are together, we are strong enough and we are not trading, by the territorial integrity, freedom and independence. And if we keep unity and if we keep solidarity, we will have a victory, no doubt. (Applause.)

And now, asking what I am expecting from Putin? Three very simple things. Point number one: Please withdraw your troops from my territory. Point number two: Close the border for supplying your troops weapons, ammunition, drugs, dirty money and everything like that. And point number three: Please release all my hostages, all my citizens. (Applause.) Everything else we’re doing ourselves within a very short period of time. Why? Because we don’t have any single conflict inside Ukraine. That is for sure. Thank you. (Applause.)

MR. KEMPE: What is – coming back to the situation with Putin and the cease-fire, what is your point of leverage with President Putin in these negotiations? Obviously we see what he has: huge military, incredible country, lots of resources. In some ways we have quite unequal partners in these – in these negotiations – situation. What do you see as your leverage? And then what role does the West play in that? What do you need most from the West? Is it – is it sanctions? Is it, you know, armaments? What – give us a feeling for this.

PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: That actually cannot have an immediate effect. This is a long-term action. Another truth: that this conflict has not a military solution, neither from Ukrainian side but also not from the Russian side. And what can keep me optimistic? This is my country. This is my lamp. This is my soul – soil and soul. This is very high combat spirit of Ukrainian people. Never ever such a number of Ukrainian people were going to give their lives for Ukraine – never – as now. And that makes me proud of my country. (Applause.)

MR. KEMPE: And your point of leverage with Putin in this – in this negotiation?

PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: Actually, we don’t have negotiation with Putin.

MR. KEMPE: Yeah.

PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: You know, what is the best achievement in Minsk during first meeting? We first stop negotiation with Putin’s side of the conflict. And that help us to be closer to the peace. I strongly believe that we will have a peace.

I (open you ?) very simple secret. When people of Donetsk and Lugansk have people with weapons on their street, imagine these people defending from the danger of banditry or something like that. Some of them believe in that. And that’s why they keep this very difficult atmosphere, because they believe that these people are defending them from (banditry ?). But when we have a peace, people start to understand, what will I need these people with the weapons on my street, not letting me to send my children to school? Not functioning – no electricity, no heating, no waste water, no salary, no jobs, nothing. This is a catastrophe. And why should I keep these people with weapons who make my life so difficult? And this is the best way for the peace process. This is the best form of the inclusive national dialogue, just to understand, what are you doing in Ukraine? This is (criminal ?).

How it should create this condition for the dialogue? This is exactly in the law which passed through the parliament the day before yesterday. They know what is the main peculiarity – the main purpose of this law, not the special statuses would help the whole of Ukraine after decentralization, which would represented by new government and by me as a president as (constitutional changes ?). The most important thing is election. In democratic countries, without the election, we cannot create the site for the negotiation.

Unfortunately, they afraid election the most. It was after the election that people can demonstrate to whom they give their votes. And this is the two – as I told today in the Congress, this is two different worlds. Here, civilized, democratic, freedom, anybody who would be elected, I am open to dialogue with, and the barbarian style. No election. Why? Because it’s dangerous. Keep – (inaudible) – weapons and create the world which I hate to have in Ukraine. We don’t have it, I promise.

MR. KEMPE: My last question, and then I’ll turn to a couple of questions from the audience, and we may have one from Twitter, and then to Senator Menendez. Security assistance from Ukraine, whether it’s from the U.S. or from Europe – Senator Menendez has introduced a bill backing greater military assistance to Ukraine. Some say that kind of assistance would be escalatory, and others – you of course have said not. What is your answer to those who say it would be escalatory, and do you feel that you’re closer from this trip to military assistance from the United States?

PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: First of all, I want to thank Senator Menendez for this bill. This is extremely important for us, and we urgently need it, and I think that this is the most effective way to demonstrate the support of Ukraine. The way and atmosphere I feel today in the Congress, this is unbelievable. I never, ever feel such an atmosphere like today in the U.S. Congress. I cannot even imagine this type of atmosphere, and I think that this is crucially important for us.

Point number two, let’s not simplify the question. This is not a question that we should receive lethal or nonlethal weapons – this is not the case. I tell you even more, the weapons do not help us to win this war. The weapons will help us to prevent next war, and that is what we urgently need to build up – (applause) – to build up very patriotic, very strong, very mobile, very professional, very effective Ukrainian army, because when I became our president, we don’t have an army at all, and now I tell you the truth – some more information. One of my Western colleagues tell me, we do not help to your army. We rejected that. And that was when I was a president already. Why? Because half of your army is corruptionist (ph)? Half of the army is a FSB agent. You don’t have an army at all. And this is very important and difficult test we now have that (demonstrating ?), yes, Ukraine has an army, very patriotic, (inaudible) – very strong. Ukraine has their own heroes, and they’re not corruptive and they are not FSB agent. We have an army. And this is the main reason why we have effective military and technical cooperation with many countries, including U.S.

MR. KEMPE: We don’t expect you to reveal your private conversations with President Obama on this subject, but would you like to reveal your private conversations with President Obama on this – (laughter) – with President Obama on this subject? (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: We had a very friendly conversation. (Laughter.) And the – I thanked President Obama for demonstration (ph) the leadership of U.S. in protecting the freedom and democracy. And believe me, this is not just a diplomatic answer. This is what I really hear today from the President Obama. And I was very happy to hear that – the same word I hear today in the Congress. The only thing we need: just unity, Congress and president. (Laughter, applause.)
MR. KEMPE: I’m going to pick up two questions and that may be all we have time for, but we’ll see. George Chopivsky and Adrian Karatnycky, please. And let’s take them one after another. And thank you again, George, for your help with the Atlantic Council on this initiative.
Q: Mr. President, thank you very much for those words. They were very moving. And I think everybody here was moved by the fact that you were not delivering your speech: You were speaking from the heart. And it showed in your words and in your expression and in your feelings, and you shared that with everybody, so thank you.
Atlantic Council has been the leading nongovernment agency in providing analysis of the situation in Ukraine, the crisis in Ukraine, and in explaining the ramifications of this crisis and this situation, the ramifications to the entire world and what it means to them today and potentially in the future. This morning, you animated the enthusiastic support of Congress for Ukraine, for the leadership of Ukraine. I think that came across very well. You were able to obtain, I think, a higher level of trust and confidence than was extant before. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. And I would like to ask you what you would like to see the Atlantic Council do as a friend of – as an objective analyst of the situation and friend of Ukraine, what would you like to see the Atlantic Council be doing to better bring an understanding of this situation to the United States and to the European community?
MR. KEMPE: What could be our most valuable contribution? And Adrian, why don’t you ask your question?
Q: Just very briefly, we focused on the security issues and on the Russia relationship, but Ukraine’s economy has been grievously damaged both by the past several years of raiding and corruption and also by the economic disaster, and I would even say some of the sabotage that has been occurring as a part of the occupation. Are you confident that you will get the kind of levels of assistance, or do you have some – or do you really believe that even in a condition of war and of an enclave, that it would be possible for the Ukrainian economy to revive?
PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: I would be absolutely open with you. On the condition of war, Ukrainian economy cannot survive, the same way like it would be very difficult to survive Ukrainian (states ?) if it would be a war. That’s why I am so insisted (ph) on the necessity of the peace process.
Can we win the war, or win the peace – that would be more accurate phrase, win the peace – and then to make an economic reform? No. Immediately when we finish the war, people will ask us why there is corruption, why there is such a bad investment climate, why we have nobody – we can understand why investor don’t come to us during the war, but the very next day after the war we want to see the investor, because you create the good investment climate, you create deregulation, you create the anticorruption, you create the rule of law, you create the independent court system, you create the – long list of things.

And that is the kind of assistance I expect, in answer to your question, from the Atlantic Council. That is the most urgent thing we need to help. This is what actually we talked today with the president about. I need assistance of United States not only money or weapons. This is not the main thing we’re looking for. We need the very strong and effective cooperation in the reform question, not only that we make reform, but the whole world should trust us that these reforms are effective.

Sometimes it’s said that the crisis is a very bad time for providing reform. I’m not believing that, because now we have a full understanding, the same way like if we do not bring peace to the country, the country cannot survive; the same way that if we urgently, right now, do not bring reform to the country, the country cannot survive. And simply – I simply do not have any option to make reform or not. This is the question for survival of the country. And we, Ukrainians, and me as a Ukrainian president, need you to assist the reform of – in Ukraine. That would be extremely important for us.

MR. KEMPE: We’ve had dozens of questions from Twitter, so I’m just going to have one from Kiev. Maxim Myrastavi (ph) from Vremenska (ph) TV, who we’ve worked with very well, and greetings to him: What’s your backup plan – this will be the final question – what’s your backup plan in case of the ceasefire collapsing? Why is the anticorruption reform not moving ahead?

PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: I answered, because Poroshenko is not in the country. (Laughter.) When I come back we – (chuckles) – we move anticorruption reform, I promise you. I’m very disappointed that I should be in the country for pushing the reform, because it should be enough creative potential in the parliament to do this, but because of that I declare having new parliamentary action to give an opportunity for Ukrainian people to elect new parliament.

You know why? Because we live in a new country after the Revolution of Dignity and Ukrainian people are different after the Revolution of Dignity. So even the Ukrainian president is different, but the parliament is old. And we do our best to have a new country, new people, new president and new parliament, and we will build a new, effective market economy in Ukraine.

(Cross talk.)

MR. KEMPE: Back-up plan for a – (applause) –


MR. KEMPE: Back-up plan for a failed cease-fire?

PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: I tell that if we do not have a cease-fire, if it would be that we have Russian aggression, I know exactly what should I do and all Ukrainian patriot will do: We go to fight against aggression. (Applause.) And that would be a time to decide, all the Western leaders, what they will do in this situation, because we know exactly what to do. (Applause.)

MR. KEMPE: I think – I think that’s an appropriate place to close with this conversation. I want to thank you for your wonderful comments at the joint session of Congress, at the Atlantic Council, and then in this discussion.

Let me – it’s now my honor to pass to Senator Menendez and to give some brief remarks and present the Global Citizen Award of the Atlantic Council.

SENATOR ROBERT MENENDEZ (D-NJ): Well, let me thank the Atlantic Council for the distinct honor of being with you today as you honor President Poroshenko and present him with the Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award. He has come here at a pivotal time in his nation’s history and a pivotal time in world affairs, in the face of Russian aggression, and he came to power at a time when the world order was dramatically changing. And from the beginning, he has been one of the most powerful voices in support of democratic reforms and freedom for his people and the hope for a future free of Russian aggression and expansionism. He was a leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution, served as Foreign Minister and, of course, won the presidency in his own right. President Obama said it was a wise selection and, having come to know the president, a wise selection it was.

He is a pragmatic politician, a skilled diplomat – the world watched as he led thousands who stood in the Maidan day after day, night after night, month after month, thousands took to the streets of Kiev rallying to what he told them over and over again was a fight for Ukrainian freedom and democracy. And now he’s shown the world that he’s willing to do exactly that: fight for freedom, fight for democracy for his people. Mr. President, I must tell you, we saw today in Congress – I have had the privilege, over 22 years, to be at many joint sessions, and some of them have been rather significant. But I must tell you that you accomplish a uniquely single effort in proselytizing members of the United States Congress. Your words were very powerful. When you said, brave men and women who are at the forefront of the global fight for democracy, and then when you said, there are moments in history when freedom is more than just a political concept. At those moments freedom becomes the ultimate choice, which defines you, who you are as a person and as a nation.

And you talked about the unity and solidarity of the Ukrainian people with the United States and with the United States with your people. We stand with your sacrifice, your dedication and your resolve to look westward and to live in freedom.

Indeed, Mr. President, freedom does define who you are as a person and as a nation. You asked for, not only solidarity, but a series of assistance. I want you to know that, today, the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a unanimous vote of 18 to zero, voted for the Ukrainian Freedom Support Act of 2014. And it is our hope – (applause) – now, I’m sure you are well briefed that we don’t always get unanimous votes in the United States Senate, or, for that fact, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, although we have had a long period of bipartisan votes coming out of the committee. There was unanimity of – if anything, there were only amendments to try to further strengthen the support, not to weaken it. And I think that’s an extraordinary statement. I think it is a ultimate sense of commitment. So, Mr. President, we honor your leadership – I know you have to get going – your leadership to moving Ukraine towards peace, security and prosperity. We honor the people of Ukraine who are engaged in this fight against tyranny and for a democratic future as a European nation at peace with all of its neighbors. And I, personally, view your struggle in the – one of the contexts in which you raised it today: If the United States and the West do not respond to the upending of the international order that Russia created here with its annexation of Crimea and with its invasion – I was there with you, while this was going on, and the – I consider an invasion of your country, then there are global consequences to the international order and those who will view how the West acts or does not act in terms of their own intentions. That is nothing – that is something we cannot accept.

So, on behalf of the Atlantic Council, it gives me great pleasure to present you with the Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award, an award very well merited. Congratulations.


PRESIDENT POROSHENKO: (Inaudible) – to say that – how important this type of award for the Ukrainian people. I think that this worth (is ?) much more than money, weapons, because this is a symbol of our unity. This is a symbol of our solidarity. That will be a symbol of our victory – victory in the struggle for peace. We bring the peace, we change the country, and significant part of this effort would be your participation. I am sure about that. Thank you very much.


MR. KEMPE: Thank you all for coming.