Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires a.i. William Taylor at the Ukrainian Leadership Academy New Academic Year Opening Ceremony

September 12, 2019

It’s a great honor for me to be here with you today to congratulate you, students, leaders of Ukraine — in two years, or in five years, or in six months.

Ukraine is on the prospect — has the prospect of being great.  It has a wonderful future.  You are the future.  The United States is very proud to be able to support this next 10 months of your lives.  While we’re thinking of that 10 months, let me thank the parents of the students here.  Probably when your sons and daughters came to you and said, hey, after graduating from high school, they were going to take a year off — you probably wondered about that year.  This is a great opportunity.  Thank you, parents, for letting your students do this.

So, I was here in Ukraine 10 years ago.  And it was an exciting time then.  It’s more exciting now. It is more exciting because you have the opportunity to further be unified.  When I was here, there were political battles that people in this audience know all so well. There are still political battles.  But now Ukraine is united.  Ukraine is united, maybe, as one of my friends just mentioned, maybe the attack on Ukraine from the Russians, maybe that has had the effect of unifying Ukraine — east and west, north and south.

You, the students are going to go out to various parts of Ukraine. It’s great to see this map and to see that people, students from Kyiv are going to Mykolaev, and people from Kharkiv are going to go to Lviv.  This is a great opportunity to further the unity of Ukraine.  The United States is very pleased to support that. We look forward to working with you, we look forward to your generation taking this Ukraine into the next period of greatness for it. And we are very glad to be here with you.  Thank you all very much.