April 11, 2019
It is such a pleasure to be here today at the Kyiv Security Forum. And it’s not actually a speech, it’s just a quick introduction to [Ambassador Kurt Volker’s] video presentation.
I want to say that it is an honor to be here, though, at the Kyiv Security Forum, because you’re all able to gather the most interesting experts on the most interesting topics and often at the most interesting times. Right between two rounds of presidential elections, I mean, I don’t think you could’ve predicted that.
And what I’d like to say about the first round is that it was competitive, generally peaceful and reflected the will of the Ukrainian people. And just like the Ukrainian people, the U.S. looks forward to the same free and fair process on April 21.
We don’t support any candidate — I think you all know that — we do support principles, however. Rule of law, democracy, prosperity, and security.
And we support the goals of the Ukrainian people. And in poll after poll since 2014, the Ukrainian people have said they want the same things, which is I think the same things that people all over the world want.
Those goals are pretty straightforward:
- they want a government that works for Ukrainians, respects their rights, and treats all citizens with dignity, equally under the law;
- they want a prosperous economy;
- and here in Ukraine, they also want a successful end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
And I think all of you know that we have worked with Ukrainian partners, with international partners on all of these goals and will continue to do so.
And I think there is no one who has worked harder, certainly on the third goal – the successful end to the war, than Ambassador Volker. So we’re sorry that he’s not here in person, I know he wanted to be here in person, but we are really glad that he could participate virtually and I’m sure you are as well.
So with that, Taras, I think it’s over to you.