YES Board statement - Ukraine: We must look forward

01 March 2014

On Maidan, flowers and candles have replaced the cobblestones and barricades. They honor the heroes who fell one week ago for Ukraine. But new challenges are here for Ukraine, as well as for European Union and Russia, together.

On Maidan, flowers and candles have replaced the cobblestones and barricades. They honor the heroes who fell one week ago for Ukraine. But new challenges are here for Ukraine, as well as for European Union and Russia, together.

The Ukrainian people will, by vote, continue their efforts to re-establish the rule of law, wipe out corruption and embed democracy more deeply in Ukraine, so that everyone can live there in peace.

However, this time, the Ukrainian people cannot do it all alone. They are going to need help – they already need help.

It is no longer the time for great declarations of intention, cautious diplomatic statements or evasion: it is time to act.

We therefore call upon Russia and the European Union to assume their common responsibility: to support the harmonious economic development of Ukraine, a Ukraine we must preserve the unity. We therefore ask them not only to work together to retain Ukraine’s full and unchallenged territorial integrity. We also ask them to set up a conference on the future of Ukraine as soon as possible.

Nothing substantial or sustainable will be accomplished unless these two historic partners of Ukraine reach an agreement.

If this means making compromises, then let’s make them! Ukraine and the Ukrainian people deserve better than a game of role playing in which each participant occupies a position that closes the door to any hope of progress.

If this means looking towards the future not the past, then let’s do so! Ukraine and the Ukrainian people deserve to have everyone looking forward today and to have us all looking in the same direction.

The people of Ukraine need an act that shows the European Union’s recognition for all those who fought for its values – why not immediately provide Ukrainian citizens with a visa free regime for travelling in the European Union?

The people of Ukraine need urgent assistance to meet their immediate financial obligations – they are counting on Russia and the European Union to provide this assistance.

To pick itself back up, Ukraine is going to need the Ukrainian people, but also the support of the European Union and Russia. It is up to the people of Russia and Europe to give the Ukrainian people back the ability to move forward together.

As YES (Yalta European Strategy), we will be happy to host a conference to collect concrete suggestions in the nearest future. We hope deeply that we would be able to hold it at the traditional venue of the YES Annual Meeting: the historical Livadia Palace in Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine. We chose this place 10 years ago to turn the venue where Europe had been divided in 1945 into a venue where the future of a united Europe is created. Now, this is more important than ever.

We say to everyone involved: YES, do it!

The YES Board Members

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Andriy Kobolyev
Andriy Kobolyev
CEO, Naftogaz of Ukraine, 15th YES Annual Meeting, 2018
«Nordstream 2 is a much wider problem than just gas matters. That’s about security of Ukraine, it’s a matter of our survival.»