Виступ Посла України під час великої прес-конференції за участю представників провідних ЗМІ Пакистану, включаючи всі основні загальнонаціональні урдумовні телеканали.
by His Excellency Volodymyr Lakomov, Ambassador of Ukraine to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
( May 07, 2014)
First of all I would like to express my deep gratitude to you and to those media what you represent for the interest to my country and the opportunity to speak before such a distinguished journalist audience.
Nowadays in a highly globalized world, the stability of successful internal development largely depends on the country's capability to adequately and efficiently respond to external challenges, changes in the global economy and the system of international relations. Nowadays peace and people’s prosperity are directly depended on increasing their capacity to think and work together on a global and intercultural basis. Given this, one of the main tasks of Ukrainian foreign policy is an active development political and economic cooperation with its prospective partners, and first of all – with Pakistan.
At a first look Pakistani and Ukrainian nations are completely different. Ukrainian and Pakistani people are divergent in appearance, religion, culture, rituals, linguistics, and dress etcetera. Most people in Pakistan practice Islam, in Ukraine – Christianity. But during my communication with Pakistani people I was really surprised how similar we are mental. There is something inside our hearts that connected us and made us relatives. I think that this inner similarity is the main motivation factor to bring our countries together. I also think that this is the main reason that our bilateral relations are based on the traditionally high level understanding in political, military, trade, economic areas and effective cooperation within international organizations.
The political contacts between our county is traditionally very friendly. This year we are going to celebrate of the 22nd anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Pakistan, and I am convinced that fruitful cooperation between our states will further develop and strengthen according to the interests of people of Ukraine and Pakistan. At the same time, in order to meet this goal and realized all plans we consider that dynamics of political contacts between our two countries must be more active. Direct contacts will help us to know about the current state of our cooperation as well as to find new opportunities for further development of bilateral relations. We consider the intensification of political dialogue between Presidents and Prime-Ministers of our countries as the priority issue in our political relations.
As an important way of diversification of our political cooperation we also consider a development of close contacts between parliaments of our two countries. We hope that inter-parliamentary Ukraine-Pakistan Friendship Groups in the Verhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine and National Assembly of Pakistan will be helpful for our bilateral relations. And we are very obliged to Speaker of National Assembly Mr. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for his great efforts to promote Pakistani-Ukrainian inter-parliamentary relations.
A closer cooperation between people of our countries is the main basis of our political, economic and other relations, because the activities of the states are the reflection of the ordinary people intentions. Both countries wish to expand and deepen mutually beneficial relations perspective, so the main priority now is to use an existing positive experience of bilateral cooperation in civilian spheres, for intensification of political dialogue, boosting legal framework, creating auspicious conditions for functioning of business organizations at the markets of both countries and others. In this respect Ukraine is ready to play its part in the development of Pakistan and would welcome any efforts to search new approaches for cooperation and expending ties with Pakistan in various sectors.
I believe that our countries have a significant potential and opportunities to increase the list of successful projects. I am also sure it will be beneficial for both Ukraine and Pakistan, and convinced, that we will reach great success through joint efforts.
Nowadays we consider the issue of economization of international relations as a priority national task. Our common goal is to promote cooperation between our countries to a qualitatively new level. An important part of this activity is to develop trade and economic relations between Ukraine and Pakistan.
Today, Ukraine has a well-developed industrial base, the rich farmlands, highly trained labor force and a good education system. It is relatively rich in natural resources. Ukraine possesses such important energy sources, like coal, hydroelectricity and nuclear fuel raw materials.
Ukraine has a well-developed mashine - building industry; another important branch is country's chemical and petrochemical industry. The latter in particular produces the high quality mineral fertilizers.
The goods that are manufactured in Ukraine include metallurgical equipment, locomotives, aircrafts, railway cars, tractors, space launchers, automobiles. The country possesses a massive high-tech industrial base, including electronics, armaments and space industries. Ukraine is a leading producer of grain, sugar, meat and milk products.
Thereby cooperation with Ukraine in these spheres can be particularly beneficial for Pakistan.
Ukraine is interested in importing from Pakistan consumer goods (fabrics, clothing, bedding, citrus, rice, sports goods, leather, cosmetic tools) with a stable demand in Ukraine. Over the past three years, export of goods from Pakistan to Ukraine has demonstrated a rapid growth.
A great potential is in a development of high technology cooperation between our countries. We’ll do our best to launch a fruitful partnership in such spheres to create synergies and make our products competitive in the world market.
Ukraine has one of the largest power sectors, including developed oil and gas pipeline system. Ukraine exports electricity to Belarus, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova and other European countries.
Approximately 50% of the electricity was produced by nuclear power plants of company "Energoatom", the rest by thermal, hydro and other power plants of Energy Company of Ukraine.
So, Ukraine has considerable experience in the construction and maintenance of power plants, and is ready to share this experience with our partners. I think that Ukraine and Pakistan have enormous potential for energy cooperation, particularly in the field of thermal and hydropower, using the alternative types of generation of energy (wind, solar etc.).
I think we have good prospects of cooperation in humanitarian sphere.
By now, hundreds of Pakistani citizens received their education in Ukraine, including education in the field of culture and art. For example, Pakistani sculptor Nariq Kakar was an apprentice of great Ukrainian sculptor Vasyl Boroday, who created famous the Motherland Monument, the monument of founders of Kyiv and other monuments in the capital of Ukraine. Pakistani students are the graduates of Kyiv National Aviation University, Kharkov State Technical University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Vinnitsa State Medical University of M.I.Pyrohov, the Crimea State Medical University named after S.I.Georgievsky, Kharkiv National Medical University and others.
That is why on June 27, 2012, the Ukrainian Universities Alumni Association of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was established. The First all-Pakistani meeting of this Alumni Association took place on September 26, 2013 in Islamabad. The Kharkiv Medical University graduate Gulam Sarwar was elected as President of the Association.
Around 250 Pakistani students today receive their higher education in Ukrainian universities; the vast majorities have chosen medical and technical institutions and faculties.
In the nearest future we are going to intensify bilateral cooperation in the cultural, sports, education spheres. In particular, we are going to sign an agreement on cooperation in culture field, to hold days of culture of Pakistan in Ukraine and Ukrainian days in Pakistan.
Besides, in order to enhance our cross-cultural communication we have additional opportunity to develop cooperation in the sphere of study of ancient cultural heritage of our countries as in the regions of modern Ukraine and Pakistan were located famous bronze age civilizations. Now there is no doubt that Indus valley civilization in Pakistan and Trypillian culture in Ukraine were one of the world’s first great urban civilizations. This fact provides us with great opportunities to develop joint research works concerning possible similarities between Indus valley and Trypillian cultures, origin of its habitants etc., as well as to establish cooperation in the sphere of exchange of museum exhibitions.
It also should be mentioned that Ukraine is expected to receive support from Pakistani government under the present circumstances when Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is a challenge not only for Europe but for the whole world. The response to this aggression must be global.
Putin cannot give up the idea of restoring the Soviet Union in a new form, the dissolution of which he called the greatest calamity of the 20th century. For a long time Russian political elite has failed to recognize the fact that Ukraine is a sovereign state which has the right to choose its own destiny.
Illegal Crimea annexation and the efforts to split up Ukraine clearly show that the Kremlin is ready to use all tools including brutal force to stop democratic developments in our region.
Despite all international efforts to find a way to force the aggressor to withdraw from Ukraine, the situation in my country remains very dangerous. The current status quo has not changed – Crimea, an integral part of Ukraine’s territory, has been occupied and illegally annexed by Russia, a country which, according to Budapest Memorandum of 1994, purported to be a guarantor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
The pretext for Crimea’s annexation was fully fabricated. The so-called “referendum” that the Kremlin used in an attempt to legitimize the annexation of Crimea was completely boycotted by Crimean Tatars, the indigenous Muslim people, as well as by two thirds of the entire population of the peninsula, as only 32.4% of voters took part in that farce.
This means that the overwhelming majority has rebuffed that “referendum,” and rejected the secession of Crimea and its annexation by Russia.
Now the situation continues to escalate.
Russia is using the same tactics in the Eastern Ukraine as in Crimea, and in 2008 in Georgia, covertly sending to Ukraine special operatives to foment provocations, as well as the same “green men” armed with the latest Russian weapons. Moscow provides lasting financial support for the separatists and orchestrates their activities. Even more – it directly runs them.
It’s a new type of warfare.
At the same time, the main problem for aggressive policy of Russia in Ukraine is the absence of popular support of separatism. Recent polls show that the overwhelming majority of people all over Ukraine, including about 80% in the East and South, are strongly against separatism and in favor of a unified Ukraine. These polls also show that people’s rights to speak whatever language they choose are not in any way constrained. It clearly proves that there are no grounds for internal conflict in Ukraine.
Despite Russia continuing to stress that Russian-speaking population needs protection, there is no threat to their rights in Ukraine. This has been repeatedly confirmed by the OSCE, the Council of Europe and other international bodies.
Nowadays tens of thousands of Russian troops are accumulated near the Ukrainian border. The threat is looming now over mainland Ukraine, and this threat is very serious.
Over the last week Russia has several times violated Ukraine’s airspace to provoke it into starting a war. It is one from many examples how Moscow builds a pretext to likely intervention. And if Russia invades mainland Ukraine, we will defend our country.
Russia’s inflammatory rhetoric is also in strong terms undermining stability, security and unity in Ukraine. People in my country are terrorized and horrified and live in a constant psychological stress.
As you know, at the April 17 meeting in Geneva Ukraine and Russia both committed to take steps to de-escalate the situation in the eastern Ukraine. We appreciate the active mediation role of the US and the EU.
The purpose of the Geneva talks was to improve security conditions and find a political solution to the conflict threatening the sovereignty and unity of Ukraine. The Government of Ukraine, pursuant to Geneva accords:
- immediately agreed to help vacate buildings;
- announced the new amnesty legislation;
- suspended counterterrorism activities;
- demonstrated its commitments to undertake comprehensive constitutional reform that would strengthen the powers of the regions;
- is ready to provide a special status to the Russian language.
But, Russia has refused to take any concrete actions in order to meet its Geneva commitments. As Secretary Kerry pointed out recently speaking at the Atlantic Council, “Not one single step has been taken by Russia.”
The Kremlin has even rejected that Russia took any obligations stressing that it was about Ukraine’s internal affairs only. In this respect Russian leadership:
- has not condemned the extremist groups;
- has not publicly encouraged them to disarm and to vacate seized buildings;
- has not condemned the hostage-taking of foreign journalists;
- has not provided any suggestion on how the de-escalation measures should be implemented.
In Geneva, we agreed that monitors from the OSCE would have unfettered access to any part of Ukraine. We also agreed that all parties would work to create that access and to provide help to the OSCE in order to do this. However, after that the group of eight OSCE monitors and five Ukrainian army personnel has been taken hostage by pro-Moscow militants in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk. It is an outrageous and unacceptable act. This is another proof that these so-called peaceful protesters, as they are called by Russia, are armed to teeth terrorists.
Russian aggression against Ukraine is a grave challenge for the whole Europe and the world. It undermines international law and the world order. It ruins the non-proliferation regime. It fully rejects the freedoms and democratic values. The world has to stop Russia’s political, economic and military intimidation, coercion and direct aggression in Ukraine.
And we continue to say that sanctions of the US, Canada and the EU countries as well as many other states must be efficient. That means they have to force Russia to withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Ukraine’s territorial integrity must be restored. And we will welcome new sectoral sanctions against banking system and the energy sector to reach these goals. The price for any illegal action against international order and global peace and security should be high. This price should be high enough to force Russian Government to be responsible and accountable before the world and its people.
Ukraine has been preparing for presidential elections that will take place on May 25. Moscow is using all means to derail them. We need strong international support, and we welcome international observers from all countries to ensure that these elections are held in accordance with the highest standards in a free, fair and democratic way, because these elections are about Ukraine’s future.
How the Kremlin-imposed Ukrainian drama ends will significantly affect the future of Moldova and Georgia, as well as the European stability and the overall international system. That is why our success will be everyone’s success, our failure would be everyone’s failure, and we all simply cannot afford to fail.
Under these circumstances, we also ask Pakistan to do everything possible to make sure that the key principles of international law are fully upheld. Violations of international law must be restored, and the violator must pay its price.