During a working trip to Kyiv region, President Petro Poroshenko took part in the youth forum: “The opinion of the youth is important. Prospects for joining NATO and the EU”. Petro Poroshenko especially emphasized that young people are the driving force of Ukraine on its way to the European Union and NATO.
“The opinion of the youth is extremely important. It is decisive. The youth today is a driving force that has provided earlier and provides today the movement of Ukraine forward, the return of our state to the European family of nations,” the President said.
“The youth is the future of the country. Students are the most active part of the youth. We have to simulate it so that it is interesting and promising, first of all for you, for young people, for students. The future of Ukraine is in the European Union and NATO,” the Head of State emphasized.
He emphasizes that it is the EU and NATO that are the main strategic benchmarks, “what to do, how to do, in order to meet the criteria for membership in the EU and NATO”.
The President stressed that membership in the EU and NATO was “a pledge of sovereignty, welfare, high standards of living and security”. Petro Poroshenko added: “This is a guarantee that Russian tanks will never break into your peaceful life and that there will not be Russian dictatorship. Because NATO consists of three dozen countries and there is a principle “all for one, one for all”.
“We are not going there empty-handed. We have one of the strongest armies, but it is definitely easier to restrain Russia together,” he added.
The Head of State stressed that the level of support for European and Euro-Atlantic integration among the youth was much higher than the average. “And this means our formula for the future is correct. There are no alternatives to our movement forward. And I’m proud that, being raised once in the Soviet system of education, I share the opinion of the generation that is even younger than our Independence,” the President said. “It is very important that you are the driving force behind these changes,” he added and reminded the events of the Revolution of Dignity when the students were the first to come to Maidan to defend the European choice.
“I remember November 21 very well. The day when former Prime Minister Azarov, on the instructions of former President Yanukovych, announced in the Verkhovna Rada that negotiations on the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU had been suspended. This gave rise to the Revolution of Dignity. And this Revolution was not started by politicians. On the contrary, they said there must be no flags of political parties. Students started this revolution, because they did care. They cared about what Ukraine would be 5, 10 or 15 years after. It belongs to them. They came to Maidan … Students demanded the move to Europe,” the President stressed.
The Head of State also emphasized the active role of the youth in the volunteer movement. “We also see the youth among volunteers, soldiers who defend this European choice on the battlefield. They protect not only the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, but also the European choice and the European future of Ukraine and Ukrainians,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“That is why this initiative today is crucially important,” the Head of State emphasized.
The Head of State appealed to the participants of the youth forum: “The future of Ukraine depends on you, depends on each of us. On your activity, on your principles, on your care, on your faith after all”.
“This future can be either free European, or the return to the embrace of Russia … The second option is not future at all. This is a terrible past, this a deprivation of Ukraine’s prospects. This is the past, from which we escaped at a costly price – the lives of Ukrainians, the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred and our soldiers on the frontline, the lives of civilians who have become the victims of the Russian aggression,” the President said.
Petro Poroshenko believes Ukraine is obliged to withstand and win for the sake of their memory. “Ukraine should go its own way. This is a path of ultimate liberation from Russian colonial dependence, a return to a civilized and democratic world. This is the future, which will be embodied in a free, prosperous, proud and self-confident country – Ukraine. I firmly believe in our joint victory. I firmly believe in the future Ukraine’s membership in the EU and NATO,” he concluded.