Thursday, September 18, 2014
Poroshenko in Canada: Ukraine Bleeding for Freedom
In an historic speech by a president of independent Ukraine in the chambers of the Canadian Parliament, Petro Poroshenko expressed his and the Ukrainian nation’s immeasurable gratitude to the government and people of Canada for their tenacious support of Ukraine.
Citing numerous Canadians of Ukrainian descent who over many decades contributed to Canada’s multilateral development, Poroshenko reminded Canadian leaders that “Ukraine today is bleeding for its independence and territorial integrity.”
“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,” Poroshenko said in this typically straightforward and patriotic address.
Unfortunately, the world sees that Ukraine today has been forced to shed blood by Russia.
Poroshenko arrived in Canada yesterday and is expected to travel to the USA, where he will address a joint session of Congress and meet with President Obama. These events are significant testimonies to Ukraine global acceptance at a time when it is waging a life-and-death war with Russia.
Poroshenko noted the global community and Canada’s support for Ukraine’s accession to European institutions and their aid in the war effort.
“Today thousands of brave Ukrainian men and women are sacrificing their lives for the right to live the way they chose to, on their land, under the blue and golden colors of the Ukrainian flag, colors which are so dear to many Canadian Ukrainians. In these dark days we feel your support.
“Once again I thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, and your Government, to the Opposition, to Canadian parliamentarians and senators, all Canadians and fellow Ukrainians for standing tall and making your voice heard. For helping financially, with technical assistance and non-lethal military aid, for supporting us at the international fora such the UN or NATO or G-7,” he said.
Abandoning meaningless diplomatic niceties, Poroshenko courageously declared that Russia is the aggressor and not an unspecified foreign entity. He called the war that Russia launched against Ukraine a “war against terrorism. Our common war,” placing all allies of Ukraine on the same side in this conflict.
“All Allies strongly condemn Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, illegal annexation of Crimea and stand ready to support territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within the internationally recognized borders,” he said.
“Once again I thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, and your Government, to the Opposition, to Canadian parliamentarians and senators, all Canadians and fellow Ukrainians for standing tall and making your voice heard. For helping financially, with technical assistance and non-lethal military aid, for supporting us at the international fora such the UN or NATO or G-7,” he added.
Poroshenko noted that without Canada’s support, it would be more difficult for Ukraine to face today’s challenges.
While appreciatively praising Canada’s backing, Poroshenko said it is only surpassed by Poland.
“No other leader or nation, no one, I mean it, with the possible exception of Poland was so straightforward and earnest when sending the signal across to Russians and the rest of the world that fighting a nation which is trying to chart its own path is just conceptually wrong. That arming rebels with advanced antiaircraft systems, providing them with operators, intelligence and flight data is wrong. Those who were equipped, trained and financed by Russia executed a terrorist attack shooting down a civilian MH17 flight killing 298 innocent lives of nationals of Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and others. One Canadian was killed as well,” he said.
As for the Verkhovna Rada’s recent ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, Poroshenko said it was the last goodbye to the USSR.
“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,” he said.
Looking beyond the war effort, Poroshenko thanked Canada for preparing 500 observers for the upcoming parliamentary elections and indicated that both countries have much to accomplish in the world of commerce and technology.
“Dear friends, let’s look beyond the crisis and war. Let’s think how we enhance the Special Partnership between Ukraine and Canada,” he said. “I am convinced that we need to pay more attention to the bilateral cooperation in such spheres as energy, trade, investments, information and air-space technologies.”
Indeed, history was written with Poroshenko’s speech in the Canadian Parliament. His message remains strong, he remains confident and his leadership remains inspirational.