Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said on a trip to Kyiv reforms are badly needed in Ukraine but called it an arduous journey in the current situation.
Ilves, along with his Ukrainian counterpart and Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, today opened the “YES” conference, which usually takes place in Yalta, in the Crimea, but has been moved to Kyiv.
Over 350 politicians, social, business and media experts from 20 nations will discuss the future of Ukraine in the annual event.
Ilves said at the opening of the two-day conference that Ukraine has chosen its own path, and suffered aggression as a result, adding that the entire EU must stand together to support the nation.
He lent support to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who said that despite the conflict, Ukraine must press forward with reform. Ilves said a study by the Bank of Germany in 1990 listed Ukraine as the ex-Soviet state with the most means to build up an independent state, while Estonia languished on the second half of that list.
“Something went wrong here and there is a possibility, perhaps the last chance, to fix it,” he said, “All successful nations have followed a similar path of reform while the unsuccessful states find similar reasons not to push through reform,” Ilves said.
Ilves will complete his four-day trip on Saturday.