Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Is Anyone Listening to Ukraine?
For the past two weeks world leaders have had the opportunity to hear Ukraine’s unequivocal declaration that its goal is to become fully embedded in a comprehensive range of Euroatlantic structures.
There are two reasons for this official policy. One: the current patriotic leadership of Ukraine is well aware that after centuries of Russian domination, Ukraine must finally categorically break all bonds with Moscow. Life in Russia’s sphere of influence – or really prison of nations – is detrimental to Ukraine’s sovereign independence. Two: Ukraine’s membership in the community of Euroatlantic countries will benefit Ukraine’s multilateral development as a modern, prosperous, democratic, law abiding and civilized country.
Leaders of Ukraine, speaking in the Parliament of Canada in Ottawa, the US Congress in Washington, DC, and the United Nations General Assembly denounced Russia for invading Ukraine, using words that have never been used in reference to Russia in those venues, and confirmed that its goal is to become a member of the European Union and to align the country closer with European and global institutions.
President Poroshenko in Canada said:
“Today Ukraine pays a very high price for defending what we believe in – democracy and freedom to choose our own future. For more than two decades we proudly stated that Ukraine gained its independence without shedding a single drop of blood.”
Then about the parliamentary ratification of the EU Agreement, he declared: “It was the last Rubicon that we had to cross. We will never return to our awful past. I am confident that our values, our freedom, our democracy, our European future and prospects of participation in various international organizations can be achieved. For Ukrainians passed one of the most difficult tests. We paid the highest price for the desire to be a European country. That’s why we will defend our independence and freedom. We want to become a fully-fledged member of the EU.”
The next day in the UN Congress Poroshenko, accentuating his remarks with America’s battle cry “Live free or die,” said: “I will focus on one thing that is at the core of Ukraine’s existence today: freedom.
“There are moments in history when freedom is more than just a political concept.
“At those moments, freedom becomes the ultimate choice, which defines who you are – as a person and as a nation.”
He also pointed out: “Today, aggression against Ukraine is a threat to global security everywhere. Hybrid proxy wars, terrorism, national radical and extremist movements, the erosion of international agreements, the blurring, and even erasing, of national identities: all of these threats now challenge Europe. If they are not stopped now, they will cross European borders and spread throughout the globe,” he said.
As for America’s involvement in this matter, Poroshenko said: “Ukraine needs modern governance and non-corrupt public administration!
“Ukraine needs to delegate more powers to local communities!
“Ukraine needs to rely more on its strong, vibrant, and dynamic civil society!
“Ukraine is building a new model of managing its state and economic affairs, where merit and hard work are duly rewarded!
“Ukraine needs know-how, technology, and new start-ups to become better integrated with the global economy.
“And for all that – we need America’s help! In particular, I ask the Congress to create a special fund to support investments of American companies in Ukraine, and to help us with reforming our economy and our justice system.”
Arseniy Yatseniuk, the prime minister of Ukraine, who also does not quibble about Russia’s lethal, terrorist intentions for Ukraine, said in the UN General Assembly: “Let me remind you the origin of the conflict that evolves in Ukraine. Is it a domestic conflict? No. That’s true that my country has differences. But every country has differences. And we are ready to handle and to tackle these differences inside of the country. But the thing is that the origin of the conflict is an invasion that was made by the Russian Federation.”
He also turned to Ukraine’s allies with a plea: “We ask our partners not to lift sanctions until Ukraine takes over the control of its entire territory – starting with the East of Ukraine, and ending with Crimea. Crimea was, is, and will be a part of Ukraine,”
Meanwhile, also in Washington, Olexander Sych, vice prime minister, said: "Free Europe is impossible without free Ukraine today. Our struggle for the democracy and sovereignty means defending the right of each state to determine its priorities and to build its future independently…
"The current struggle of Ukraine against the Russian aggressor is the test not only for our country but for the entire civilized world, it is global confrontation between democracy and tyranny, freedom and slavery.”
Is anyone listening to what this new breed of Ukrainian officials is saying? Viktor Yanukovych was denounced and ridiculed for his treacherous conduct. But these leaders are genuinely striving to fulfil Ukraine’s age-old manifest destiny of becoming a full-fledged member of the European community as well as global affairs.
Unfortunately, it looks as if global leaders are only expressing a lot of teary sympathy for Ukraine but not nearly enough concrete actions and support. Ukrainian leaders are pleading with the free world not to let Russia re-subjugate it. It’s like the ambivalent and fearful people looking out of their windows into the courtyard as their unfortunate neighbor is robbed and beaten, hoping that they won’t have to offer their help.
Has Russia terrorized world leaders into unresponsiveness and submission? Is Moscow in a position to dominate the free world without firing a shot?
To ensure that the iron curtain is not repaired in our lifetimes, we have to bring this contemporary message of aggression and subjugation to the desks of our elected leaders wherever they preside and demand that they join the righteous cause of helping Ukraine.