Ukrainian Ambassador to Australia delivers his public lecture “Ukraine in Europe: today and tomorrow” in the Western Sydney University
"Ukraine is paving its way to the European standards amid the armed aggression from its nearest neighbor, transforming its own consciousness about the importance of carrying out deep reforms in the conditions of the institutional crisis in Europe. However, our European choice remains unshakable as European integration for Ukraine is not just a slogan but a return to our civilizational authenticity," - the Ambassador said.
According to Mykola Kulinich, Ukraine's task is not to formally join the EU and NATO but to achieve a level of standards that correspond to the membership in the EU, modernization, improvement of living conditions of Ukrainians and a fundamental change in public consciousness.
Ambassador of Ukraine underlined that the war on the east of Ukraine is the biggest obstacle on Ukraine’s road to Europe.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine caused us more then 10 000 death toll, including 242 children and more than 1,8 million displaced persons, loss of 7,2% of territory and 10% GDP.
He also stresed howthe Russian Federation acts in the information field, in the nourishing of radical nationalist movements, using Russian speaking minorities to provoke contrived tension on the borders of the EU and NATO (though its own citizens within the Russia have real problems in everyday life suffer badly, majority of them living below the poverty line, immortal corruption and social inequality). This is done in order to weaken Western institutions, to undermine the transatlantic partnership, to use the informational openness of democratic societies to manipulate politics and discredit the idea of a united Europe and a strong NATO in the eyes of the Europeans themselves, and in the eyes of those who seek to become a part of a united European family.
But it is the Russian Federation itself which is destabilizing the situation. Three years ago Russia started the process of transformation of Crimea from a warm seaside resort into a military base with nuclear weapons. Taking into account the strategic location of Crimea, this course of action radically changes the balance of power in the Black Sea, which directly threatens member states of NATO. It is the Russian Federation’s involvement in Syria which facilitated the deepening humanitarian crisis in Syria, resulting in a flood of refugees to Europe.
And it was the Russian Federation which unleashed the conflict on the borders of the EU, supporting radical separatist movements in the Eastern Ukraine, which led to the tragic deaths of EU and Australian citizens in MH17 crash.
"We are not calling anyone to go to war, but are seeking for support.
We really appreciate the Australian government support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" - the Ambassador said.