This is a final “goodbye” to the Russian empire and the words “back in the USSR” will be heard only listening to Beatles. We will never return to the Soviet Union because we, proud and free democratic nation, return to the family of European nations. And I am proud that we succeeded.
I am Ukrainian and I love freedom! This is what every Ukrainian feels today.
Dear representatives of the diplomatic corps!
Finally it happened.
We have been going to this day for a long time and we have been waiting for this day. However, we did not sit and wait - the whole country, the whole people of Ukraine worked persistently changing the country.
We made this day closer when we came to Maidan and made the Revolution of Dignity. Having created the Armed Forces, Ukrainian army, Ukrainian troops in an unprecedentedly short period of time, we, Ukrainians, protected our freedom, our land, our will, democracy from Russian aggression and Russian invasion, defending every piece of Ukrainian land with weapons in hands. We implemented the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and Mr. Ambassador can confirm that there were almost 150 items in it and we had to work hard to fulfill them. And we succeeded.
We have made it with a strong hope that we will certainly pass this difficult exam. Someone waited for us to fail - both from the east and from inside the country rubbing hands when the time frames were postponed. However, we strongly believed that the word will be kept if there is an arrangement with our European partners.
And finally we can say - today, we launch the countdown.
A countdown to irreversible changes. This is a final “goodbye” to the Russian empire and the words “back in the USSR” will be heard only listening to Beatles. We will never return to the Soviet Union because we, proud and free democratic nation, return to the family of European nations. And I am proud that we succeeded.
I think that the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, the Heroes of the Ukrainian troops who gave up lives for our freedom, our independence, our democracy and this moment of return to Europe are also happy now in heaven.
In 12 hours the last sound of the countdown will mark justification of our hopes. It will mark the fall of not the concrete Berlin Wall, but the paper curtain that has been separating Ukrainians from the European family for years.
And today, at midnight, when a historic date - June 11 will come, this paper curtain will fall.
I would like to recall the words of a great European - German Chancellor Willy Brandt “From now on, what is a whole will be developed as a whole”. A single whole: Europe, EU and our fantastic state Ukraine.
It is a great honor to launch the final countdown of the clock to the visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU with these words.
Yesterday in Kharkiv, during the meeting with President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė we said that it is not a completion, but a powerful continuation of reforms. I believe - Ukraine will be a member of NATO, I believe - Ukraine will be in the EU and nothing, nobody will ever stop us.
Once again, fellow Ukrainians, congratulations on this extraordinary event!
Glory to Europe and glory to Ukraine!