by H.E. Mr. Volodymyr Pakhil,
the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Indonesia,
the Head of the Ukrainian Delegation
at the Bali Democracy Forum VII, October 10-11, 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to speak here in front of you today at this important event, the Bali Democracy Forum. An initiative launched six years ago with the strategic agenda of ensuring progress in the 21st century.
I would like to express my deepest respect to the President and the Government of Indonesia, who initiated and led this Forum.
I believe democracy is one of the most important achievements of humanity.
It allows people to become masters of their own destiny, thus ensuring the progress and prosperity of mankind.
The desire to live in a country that offers such opportunities drove the Ukrainian people to embark on a painful process of democratic transformation.
Beginning in November 2013, this process resulted in unprecedented sacrifices. But it was successful.
As a result of widespread protests, Ukraine held free and fair early presidential elections. Early parliamentary elections are scheduled for late October.
The new government initiated a series of much-needed reforms designed to respond to the society’s demand for more transparency, accountability, and economic development.
The democratic world supported these transformations unanimously. However, one of our neighbors, Russia, saw them as a geopolitical challenge.
Previously a guarantor of our sovereignty, Russia initiated an aggression against Ukraine.
In 1994 Russia signed the Budapest agreements, guaranteeing Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in return for our voluntary nuclear disarmament.
In 2014 exactly 20 years later Russia attacked us.
Despite the blunt military invasion perpetrated against us, Ukraine, as a peaceful nation, is willing to solve this conflict through diplomatic, non-violent means.
The Ukrainian President proposed a Peace Plan which includes a ceasefire, and Ukrainian forces have terminated full-scale military actions.
The central government also made enormous concessions to the pro-Russian side.
It adopted a temporary order of local self-government for the areas in conflict, and granted amnesty to separatists.
Early elections have been scheduled to enable inhabitants of the troubled regions to choose their national representation.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to violate its obligations and destabilize the East of Ukraine.
Ukrainians are dying every day. The humanitarian situation in the occupied territories continues to deteriorate.
At the same time Russia is continuing its cynical propaganda war, an example of which we witnessed today.
But we will not falter. Because our choice is to stand with the democratic world, for development, prosperity, and individual freedom.
As a sovereign state we have the right to choose our own destiny.
The democratic international community has unanimously supported Ukraine’s stance in the face of Russian aggression.
And we are asking for further support. Because it’s not over.
Ukraine refuses to have a frozen conflict on its territory will not recognize the illegal annexation of any part of our homeland.
Russia has to be brought back within the realm of international law. For this it must withdraw its troops and its mercenaries from the Ukrainian territory, stop sponsoring the militants, secure the Ukraine-Russia border, end the occupation of Crimea.
If this is done, the conflict will be resolved the next day, if not - this case of destabilization through undeclared war and illegal annexation of territory may serve as a major precedent for other such conflicts.
No country can remain uninvolved. It is time to take a stand. For the right of countries to choose democracy.