The world did not believe Ukraine could be so powerful, determined, and well organised – Aleksander Kwasniewski

12 September 2022

The international community did not believe that Ukraine could be so powerful, determined, and well organized, said President of Poland (1995–2005), Chairman of the Board of YES Aleksander Kwasniewski in his closing speech at the 17th Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting "Ukraine: Defending All Our Freedom", organised by YES in partnership with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

“Sometimes the unbelievable can come true. A year ago, we did not expect that there would be a full-scale war. When the war began on February 24, we did not believe that Ukraine could be so powerful, so determined, and so well organised. The Russian blitzkrieg was quite a realistic scenario. However, today we are much closer to optimistic scenarios, that of a Ukraine victory,” he said.

Aleksander Kwasniewski emphasized that although Ukraine’s victory is inevitable, there is still a war to be won. Further military, financial, and humanitarian support of Ukraine, alongside unbreakable unity of the Western community, will bring victory closer.

“Ukraine needs powerful and unconditional support: military, financial, and humanitarian. We must keep our unity. The unity of the democratic world is the key to success,” said Alexander Kwasniewski.

The Chairman of the Board of YES warned that the international community's war fatigue could hinder Ukraine’s quick victory.

"We have to overcome the feeling of fatigue and realise that this is a confrontation in which we must win, and without our participation it is impossible," he said.

He also called on the West to support Ukraine financially and to start implementing the country’s post-war reconstruction programme.

"We sometimes talk about big plans, about the so-called Marshall Plan, I personally think we should find a better name for it. It can be the “Ukraine 2.0” plan, or something new. We need certain elements of stability and peace before we start implementing this plan. However, we can already do something important now – raise funds to support Ukrainian regions that are already relatively safe: rebuilding schools, kindergartens, bridges, and roads," stated the Chairman of the YES Supervisory Board.

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Strobe Talbott
Strobe Talbott
President, Brookings Institution, 8th YES Annual Meeting, 2011
«The world must revise its approach to global governance »