Kaljulaid: Ukraine can become the next success story ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

President Kersti Kaljulaid speaking at Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting in Kyiv on September 13.
President Kersti Kaljulaid speaking at Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting in Kyiv on September 13. Source: YES

Who can say that Ukraine can't be the next global success story, President Kersti Kaljulaid said at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) Annual Meeting in Kyiv on Friday.

Speaking at the forum during a two-day working visit to Kyiv, Kaljulaid urged Ukraine to keep going with the reforms it had in place, adding the country could show the world the right way to develop if it does.

According to president Kaljulaid the liberal democratic world is a turbulent place right now.

"Rising inequalities and a lack of social mobility, which seems to make bad luck hereditary, breeding disappointment and creating an active search for radical change. This search is loud and visible, uncomfortable, but still a new consensus is nowhere to be seen," she said.

"Ukraine is striving to convince its citizens to continuously work towards the reforms to deliver for them something that people in the free western world nowadays doubt has ever been delivered," president Kaljulaid said.

"It is totally different if I compare it to 30 years ago when Estonia set out with its reform program," Kaljulaid explained, adding that: "On the other hand this is something that is also Ukraine's opportunity."

"This tells us that it is still worthwhile to see how our societies can be made better and more equal; how to solve the current problems. If you want it, then it has to be worth it and I see here a story arising for Ukraine for the future: it was the country that believed in human rights and democratic values, while everybody else was doubting you would succeed."

"Sometimes people ask me why should we stand up for Ukraine because they are not doing their homework. I say that 30 years ago when you were supporting Estonia's development, you didn't do it because you thought that at some point we will be a digital wonderland and you can learn something useful from us. So, what tells you that Ukraine is not the next place globally where these developments will show us the way?" Kaljulaid said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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