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Press Release

Challenges Facing Ukraine in the Era of Globalization -
Address by H.E. Dr. Yuri Scherbak, Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, at the University of Toronto

November 9, 2000

Dear Mr. Jacyk, Dear Professors, Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank the Petro Jacyk Foundation and Mr. Jacyk personally, and the University of Toronto for giving me the opportunity to speak here and share with you my thoughts on those 21st century challenges, especially the process of globalisation, that Ukraine is facing now and will keep facing in the future.

My thoughts are based on my state, public and diplomatic experience, which has been expressed in my first political book The Strategic Role of Ukraine published by the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University in 1998. It was understood that that book was just too small to accommodate such a huge topic, and in the course of long discussions with colleagues from Harvard and the Petro Jacyk Foundation, the idea to prepare a new book under the tentative title of Ukraine: From the Red Utopia to the Era of Globalisation was born. It is quite clear that the topic is immense and may become the subject of tens of scientific and journalistic research projects.

I fully realise that born to a scientist, a diplomat and a writer, this may be a most stupid idea, especially taking into account my official status and hectic schedule. But I could not reject it because I am aware that I must write this book, and because as a Ukrainian author I know very well that written word is immortal.

Upon my return to Kyiv at the end of 1998, I worked for more than a year as Foreign Policy Advisor to President Leonid Kuchma and had the opportunity to observe the life of my country during one of the most crucial periods of its history, when the issue was whether Ukraine would return to communist past or move forward, towards the realisation of its strategic goal: integration into the European Union; towards developing a democratic and prosperous Ukrainian state, a reliable member of the European family of nations.

The election of President Kuchma for the second term in the conditions of acute economic crisis and in the presence of a strong leftist opposition has testified that the Ukrainian people have made their choice in favour of the European course of development, a choice for economic modernisation and adaptation to the environment of globalisation.

During the recent ten years, I had the opportunity to observe the life of Ukraine in its various dimensions, internal and external policies, at various levels of power: as Minister and member of the National Security Council of Ukraine, as the leader of the Green Party, as Ambassador to countries so different yet so significant for Ukraine as Israel, the United States, Mexico and Canada. I had access to very important information and met with all the influential actors on the Ukrainian political scene.

And yet the book I have conceived is not one of memoirs that always tend to be subjective. It is more likely an attempt at thinking and analysis, at objective appraisal of what has been and is happening in Ukraine, of the tendencies in the country’s development in our unpredictable and unstable world. My book is based on three principal elements of my philosophy:

  1. realistic, not ideological, appraisal of people and phenomena;
  2. moderate optimism, faith in Ukraine’s future;
  3. positive and objective approach to current situation in Ukraine, without catastrophic or super-optimistic extremes.

I have to point out here that I am convinced that any observations on Ukraine are to be based on understanding our tragic, almost surrealistic history. The roots of our many troubles and problems spring from the depths of the centuries even from the times of the Kyivan Rus or the Cossack and Hetman state. The 20th century has become the century of fate for Ukraine: we have lived through two world wars and two civil wars, three famines and several waves of purges and repression, three attempts by Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev at forced industrialisation and the Cold War nuclear race. And then the independent Ukraine was born.

I have been lucky as working in Kyiv I could turn to the newest achievements in historical research containing deep and comprehensive appraisal of our recent history. These are the books by Stanislav Kulchytsky dedicated to the period of Stalinism in Ukraine, the research works of Mykhaylo Koval on WWII, the works of Yuri Shapoval who exposes the mechanisms of communist regime’s repression of Ukraine, a new view of our history by Yaroslav Hrytsak, and a number of other very interesting and deep researches of our political and economic history. Of course I also turned to books by prominent Canadian and American researchers, such as Ivan Lysyak-Rudnytski, Orest Subtelny, Bohdan Krawchenko, David Marples, Roman Szporluk, Taras Kuzyo, Bohdan Nahajlo and others.

But the history of Ukraine is not the subject of my book. I am not a historian and when I am writing about history, the things past, I am thinking about the present and its rôle in the future.

For Ukraine, the 21st century will be about its ability to adapt to new relations and values of the era of globalisation.

The book I am working on focuses on one idea: how well is Ukraine as a very young state prepared for globalisation? What is the best way to Ukraine’s sustainable development?

I proceed from the fact that the Ukrainian state and people have been faced and will be faced with a number of serious challenges requiring adequate responses.

One of these is the challenge to statehood requiring that the people, which has lived in the conditions of statelessness for centuries, have to develop its own state within a short term. And not just an old Soviet-type administrative state, which we actually did have, but a modern, democratic state based on a civil society.

I am convinced that only an independent Ukrainian state can and must transform the Ukrainian ethnic nation into a Ukrainian political nation, integrate different ethnic groups and such varied regions as the Crimea and Halychyna, the Donbas and Trans-Carpathia into a single national entity. I believe that Ukraine, which today is divided by political, regional, and social differences, will in time become a nation state such as France or Germany.

Analysing the processes of state development I am trying to reveal both Ukraine’s unquestionable achievements and its obvious drawbacks and mistakes.

I proceed from the fact that the new Ukrainian state developed on the basis of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which had existed for 74 years spanning the lives of four generations, and which was an indivisible part – indeed a province – of the Soviet empire. Sadly, the genetic code of the Ukrainian SSR was infected with communist totalitarian principles of repressing the freedom of speech and political activity, of the administrative model of economy, of merciless struggle with Ukrainian nationalism and patriotism, against everyone who strove for independence and had desire to have their own state. While the USSR had existed, a notoriously unique category of people has been brought up: the Soviet people, the Homo Sovieticus, whose fatherland was not Ukraine, Russia or Georgia but the whole of the gigantic empire from Lviv to Vladivostok.

Those principles and peculiarities are incompatible with the principles on which a new Ukrainian state has to be built. The situation has demanded quick and decisive action to meet the following challenges of state development:

  • The liquidation of the Communist Party monopoly on power, destruction of existing Soviet political and state administrative system of the Ukrainian SSR, development on new democratic principles of independent branches of power: legislative, executive and judicial;
  • The adoption of the Constitution of Ukraine and a package of basic legislative acts corresponding to the principles of a European democratic country;
  • The extension of control over Ukraine’s economic realm simultaneous with radical economic reforms providing maximal economic freedom to all subjects of all forms of ownership; substantial reduction of state interference in economic affairs; a monetary reform;
  • The creation of Ukrainian Armed Forces and Border Guards, as well as other power and intelligence structures to provide for Ukraine’s national security;
  • The development of external political and foreign economic service, of the diplomatic service of Ukraine.

Have these challenges been met, how, to what extent? What is the quality of state institutions of the independent Ukraine? How well do they correspond to European standards?

First of all, it should be noted that these challenges have in general been met, more or less successfully. Ukraine has managed to ruin the old Soviet system of power and form basic institutes of new Ukrainian statehood, which is quite a feat in itself:

Firstly, the Communist Party, the main supporting structure of the totalitarian state that used to run all state institutions of the Ukrainian SSR, has been dismantled. Also liquidated or drastically reorganised have been the formerly omnipotent state security bodies of the Ukrainian SSR; they are now forbidden to interfere in politics and their functions are limited in accordance with the law;

Secondly, significant changes have been made to the councils of people’s deputies (the Radas), which were a form of Soviet power absolutely unable to function and a mere tool of the Communist Party creating a system of fictitious sovereignty of the people. Institutions of local government are gradually taking shape, bringing Ukraine closer to European standards;

Thirdly, in 1996 the Constitution of Ukraine has been adopted. For the first time in the history of Ukraine, it declares the separation of branches of power, defines the functions of the President of Ukraine as the Head of State and guarantor of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, of the Verkhovna Rada (the Parliament) and the Government of Ukraine. Combined presidential and parliamentary form of state power has been introduced. Very important are the clauses whereby Ukraine is a unitary state (Article 2) as well as that "no ideology shall be recognised by the State as mandatory" (Article 15);

Fourthly, during the years of independence free elections have been held: twice parliamentary (1994 and 1998) and twice presidential (1994 and 1999), with peaceful transfer of power to popularly elected representatives. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international observers said that despite some minor mistakes, the elections have been democratic and lawful. At the April 2000 referendum the people have supported the idea of reorganising the Verkhovna Rada;

Fifthly, the Constitutional Court was created in 1997. It is an important link in state system as a highest arbiter for interpretation of the Constitution and legal acts and their implementation. A formally independent judicial system has been built at various levels;

Sixthly, legislative and institutional conditions have been created for reorganisation of the administrative system of economy into a market model. Mass privatisation and incorporation of state-owned enterprises has been provided;

Seventhly, monetary reform has been conducted in 1996 introducing the hryvnia as the national currency and providing for its convertibility. National finance and banking system has been created;

Eighthly, basic political and civil rights and freedoms, pluralism of political life, full equality of all nations and national minorities have been secured and are now guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine. This has allowed us to preserve civil accord and peace during the difficult crisis years and through many a trial;

Ninthly, a number of government institutions and systems have been created that never existed in the Ukrainian SSR but are essential for normal functioning of a state, such as the State Treasury, border, customs and taxation services, law-enforcement and security agencies, including intelligence and counterintelligence, National Mint, nuclear safety regulatory body, a state auditing chamber, a system of state awards, export control service, foreign economic agency and many others;

Tenthly, the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has been created with subordinate Armed Forces comprising the Army, Air Force, Air Defence and Navy;

Finally, the foreign political service of Ukraine (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) has been developed and consolidated, including 84 diplomatic and consular offices accredited in 65 countries and 5 permanent missions to international organisations. Ukraine is diplomatically represented in every region of the world: from Canada to China, from Brazil to Japan, from Finland to South Africa to Australia.

Evaluating the initial period of state development in Ukraine, especially the most difficult period of 1991 to 1994, it should be noted that it has been taking place in extremely forbidding objective conditions of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, of the system crisis enveloping the whole of the post-Soviet realm, of increasing chaos in economic life of Ukraine, of escalating political tension in the society, of intensifying struggle between the supporters of communist ideology and the forces of liberal democratic and liberal nationalist direction. Simultaneously, in the conditions of legal vacuum and confusion in law-enforcement agencies the levels of organised crime and corruption have drastically increased.

It can practically be said that the young state has been emerging in the conditions of a cold civil war, although unlike in 1920’s and 1930’s, it has not seen human rights abuse or repression of political opposition. Ukraine has never resolved the conflict between executive and legislative powers by turning tanks against the Parliament. We have chosen another, slower, democratic way of building our state. Former Communists continue to play an important rôle in the state system. That is why not all of our state institutions are perfect and there are drawbacks in the work of government: quite understandable considering the grim legacy of the past and a short period of state development.

Today Ukraine is an independent European country, and its state system faces essentially new challenges, several times as complicated as those that Moscow-controlled imperial province of Ukrainian SSR had to face. Thus, the volume of administrative activities in several sectors has increased 20 to 30 times while the above-mentioned government bodies were created only after 1991. Ukraine had to build from scratch its legal base, to define national priorities in national security and international relations where there had been none of such notions before.

Dear friends,

Western press has been publishing increasing numbers of negative articles about Ukraine, especially about weaknesses, imperfections and drawbacks of its state mechanisms, corruptibility of government, growing influence of financial oligarchs and so on. There are now certain clichés that Ukraine lacks freedom of speech, corruption is rampant and the reforms have stopped.

Although agreeing that a number of negative phenomena exist and not denying their existence, I urge objectiveness and historical, comparative approaches in evaluating the situation in my country. I categorically disagree with entering Ukraine on the black list of pariah states.

Can one justifiably compare the state of societies in Ukraine and in the countries of the European Union, United States, or Canada? No. For three centuries, Ukraine was under tyrannical regimes and has lost some of its democratic traditions.

At the same time, over 100 political parties are active in Ukraine today: from ultra-leftist Stalinist Communists to ultra-radical nationalistic groupings, with moderate democratic parties in the centre. There is no political censorship in the country. Dozens of the published newspapers are anti-Government, anti-President. Independent TV channels are many. 15 years ago, such a situation would seem impossible, more like a fabulous dream. This Ukraine should not be compared with the United States or Canada but with the Ukraine of our past, with what was going on just 15, 10, 5 years ago.

Comparing Ukraine to Poland is also incorrect. With all the historical and geographical similarities, Poland has been very different from Ukraine because it had a vast experience as a state, a consolidated nation united by the same goals, the same language and the same religion. Unlike Ukraine, it had traditions of private enterprise and privatised farming.

Another challenge: regional. Huge differences between regions, uneven national composition with ethnic Russians prevailing in the Crimea and south-eastern regions.

Our opponents are telling us: Ukraine is so complicated a country it is dangerous. Yes, complicated. But I would like to ask you: which country is simple? Belgium, comprising two peoples? Canada, constantly experiencing the issue of Québec? Germany, which since reunification continues to have problems with eastern länder? Or Spain where terrorist attacks continue? Or the Russian Federation: is it a simple country?

Despite all the complexities Ukraine has been free of any inter-ethnic or inter-regional conflicts. We have successfully avoided deadly collisions or emergence of so-called hot spots, like it was the case in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Chechnya or former Yugoslavia.

Ukraine is not a consumer of security in Europe, but its producer.

Governed by its good will, Ukraine removed from its territory all nuclear weapons making a major contribution into global peace and security.

Ukraine has turned around the macroeconomic situation in the country: we have drastically decreased inflation rate from 10,000% in 1993 to 1% this month.

Ukraine has provided wide-scale privatisation, liberalised foreign trade, and reduced budget deficit from 10% of the GDP to 0%. It should have a proficit of 1% of the GDP by the end of this year. Ukraine has established viable banking sector, including over 200 private banks with a share of foreign capital. About 100,000 small private enterprises operate in Ukraine employing 1,2-million people, and roughly 900,000 individual entrepreneurs are active in the country. The private and non-state sector produces over 70% of the GDP. There are almost 15-million shareholders in Ukraine.

At the same time, obvious is the necessity to conduct a deep administrative reform, form regional policies, consolidate local government, and more actively facilitate emergence of civil society in Ukraine.

The European face of the Ukrainian state in the 21st century will reflect the success of the administrative reform initiated by President Kuchma, which is currently under way. In administrative reform, the system of central executive bodies and their structures have been improved; the number of employees of these bodies has been reduces by 17000. Measures are being taken to drastically reduce the state’s interference with the economy in order to deprive corruption of its mainstay.

Ukraine also faces a geo-strategic challenge: the necessity to define its place in Europe and the world. That is a complicated and delicate process of interaction with other countries and associations of countries often having interests different or even contrasting those of Ukraine’s.

If we imagine three huge concentric circles on the map of the world with Ukraine in the centre, they will roughly represent the three rows of countries that influence Ukraine’s geo-strategic situation to the same extent that Ukraine is influencing theirs.

Ukraine’s immediate neighbours fall into the first circle. There, Ukraine’s relations with Russia are of special significance considering the history of the two countries, Ukraine’s dependence on Russian energy supplies and – most importantly – on Russia’s future course: its democratic development or return to empire ideology and practice. Maintaining relations of equal and friendly partnership with Russia on democratic principles is in Ukraine’s vital interest.

Ukraine’s relations with the Russian Federation have achieved more dynamism after the two countries signed large-scale Friendship and Cooperation Treaty in 1997. Thanks to mutual willingness, many previously unresolved bilateral issues have given way to constructive engagement and partnership, where economic ties, that are traditional, remain an essential component. Our two Presidents also conduct regular consultations, which always prove very productive. Let me turn to the words of President Leonid Kuchma that "Ukraine exists in a complex system of international coordinates whereas it is simultaneously an organic part of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe, which geopolitical reality dictates certain international priorities, one of them being strengthening mutual confidence and cooperation with Russia."

Ukraine’s strategic partnership with Poland, which serves us as an example of economic transformation and integration into European structures, is also of great importance. We are enjoying very good relations with Poland. Poland was the first of our neighbours to recognise Ukraine’s renewed independence. We have agreed on the principles of strategic partnership, our cooperation continues to broaden in political, economic, military, peacekeeping and other spheres. A number of effective bilateral mechanisms have been established, including the Consultative Committee at the level of our two Presidents, who apart from holding regular official discussions on every international issue, happen to be good friends. I took part in those meetings and I know very well the scale of the important issues we are discussing. Poland is also a good example for us in economic success and cooperation with global security structures. Closer ties between Ukraine and Poland are an important geo-strategic factor in the new European security architecture, and will remain so well into the 21st century.

Ukraine’s relations with the CIS countries are characterised by the fact that Ukraine does not recognise it as a super-state or organisation viewing it only as a potential free-trade zone. Of importance are Ukraine’s relations with the members of the informal group GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova). These countries have distinctive economic interests in creating a new oil transportation corridor from the Caspian Sea to Ukraine and Poland. That corridor will play a crucial geo-strategic role in the future architecture of Europe and Eurasia.

In the second circle I would mention Ukraine’s relations with the European Union. Last year’s presidential elections have proven that Ukrainians are strongly in favour of continuing on the way towards Europe where Ukraine belongs geographically, historically, culturally, and psychologically. A lot of work has yet to be done for Ukraine to belong in Europe politically and economically, but I am deeply convinced that the day will come.

The recent Ukraine-EU Summit that took place last September in Paris has become an important milestone in our really unique partnership. The Programme of Ukraine’s Integration into the EU approved by President Kuchma was presented there. The Summit has sent a very important message that the European Union is supportive of the democratic character of Ukrainian reforms. Connection has been observed between the Copenhagen political criteria and the European choice of Ukraine. The key objectives of our cooperation at this stage are the implementation of the EU Joint Strategy towards Ukraine; the adoption of European rules and standards; regular discussions on the issues of the EU expansion; full implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, including the establishment of a free-trade zone and introducing a workable visa regime between Ukraine and the EU. The EU is considering removing Ukraine from the list of non-market economies and will render Ukraine technical assistance in harmonising its standards with those of the EU. We are satisfied that the EU understands Ukraine’s position that further EU expansion should not create additional boundaries between us.

The United States is of primary significance to Ukraine in the third circle. The US as a member of the OSCE and NATO also belongs, of course, in the first and the second circles being in that sense more like a part of greater Europe. All-round cooperation with the US is essential to Ukraine’s national security in the future.

We have to proceed from the realities of today’s world which will remain the same at least until the year 2020: the United States has become the dominant country in the post-Cold War era leading to the establishment of a one-polar world and becoming the leader of a block of most industrialised countries. Indeed, a colossal Mega State is arising that could be described as a new-type commonwealth, the mankind’s golden billion: the countries of Europe, North America and several Asian countries. The countries of this mega community are home to one-fifth of the earth’s population and represent four-fifths of mankind’s economic potential. The question is whether Ukraine will one day join this golden billion

The third circle also includes such important countries as Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil and Korea.

It should be noted that Ukraine has defined its geopolitical priorities reflected in the so-called multi-vector international policy. Some forces have been pushing us towards a primitive, black-and-white, Manichaean choice: either the East or the West. Such an approach is counterproductive because it contradicts Ukraine’s national interests.

Ukraine is a non-block country occupying key geopolitical positions in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. Considering these realities Ukraine must cooperate with the East, the West, the North and the South, it must make sure that the new dividing lines do not divide Europe into two hostile blocks.

Hence the diversification of our foreign policy, our search for partners and friends in all of the three concentric circles around Ukraine.

Ladies and gentemen,

Perhaps of all the challenges facing the modern Ukraine the most acute one is the systemic transformational economic crisis. It is characterised by the complete collapse of the previous, Soviet-style administrative economic system and the painful attempts to develop a market economy. These attempts have been met with all-out resistance and, I dare say, even sabotage on the part of some leaders of industrial and agricultural enterprises and the leftist factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. But still the process of changes is steadily gaining momentum and the time is near when a certain quantity of new market elements will transcend onto a new quality.

Now we are witnesses to the first symptoms of our recovery. For the first time since independence, Ukraine is enjoying economic growth: the growth of the GDP for the first half of this year was 5%, industrial output has increased by 11,9%. Of essential importance is growth in consumer goods production, including the non-food sector.

The agrarian sector of economy is seeing active transformation with the liquidation of Soviet-style collective agro-enterprises (the kolkhozes), introduction of mortgage relations in agriculture and land market. By the beginning of last April, 10,7-thousand (99,9%) collective agro-enterprises had changed the form of ownership. On their base farms, private enterprises, companies limited and cooperative societies have been created. 6,3-million peasants have been issued landowners’ certificates. An overwhelming majority (90%) of peasants have rented out their land shares. 44 agrarian stock exchanges operate in Ukraine. There are 5-thousand cooperative societies for technical services. This is a real revolution in agriculture, which can turn Ukraine again into the breadbasket of Europe.

The adoption of a new land code will enable us to complete the formation of the institute of private land ownership and stimulate private initiative in agriculture.

The legal base of economic reforms is continuing to improve as the drafting of civil and tax codes is being completed.

The challenge of Ukraine’s energy dependence on oil, gas and nuclear materials supplies is organically connected to the overall economic situation in Ukraine. An economy that functions normally and has a well-established export system will be capable of purchasing any amounts of fuel as illustrated by Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, Korea, Japan and a number of others.

Ukraine is faced with a grave challenge of corruption and crime, which have become an AIDS to our society destroying the immunity of popular moral, working ethics, state discipline, threatening with degeneration of the state into a Mafia-type formation. Although it flourishes in other countries too, corruption has put Ukraine in the spotlight of world community’s attention in the wake of the case of the former Prime Minister Lazarenko and the abuse of IMF loans by the National Bank of Ukraine.

The President and the Government are taking serious measures in combating economic crime and corruption. the Draft Criminal and Judicial Codes envisage intensification of measures against corruption. During the last three years, about 14-thousand public workers and over 3000 deputies of all levels have been held responsible under administrative codes of justice. Over 6000 criminal cases have been opened.

Combating corruption is not only the struggle for Ukraine’s reputation and positive image. It is the struggle for our future, for healthy economy, for Ukraine’s democratic development, for renewed trust of millions of people in their own state.

Among the most significant challenges are the domestic Ukrainian demons: our own internal forces of destruction, separation, ambitious envy, and factional differences. We know very well how they had often played their fatal role in the history of Ukraine: take Kyivan Rus, the Cossack state or Ukrainian People’s Republic.

But globalisation is the main and most serious challenge.

What is globalisation? The G-7 communiqué adopted in Cologne in June 1999 defined it as a complicated process characterised by accelerated and growing flows of ideas, capital, machinery and goods in the whole world that has already caused dramatic changes in societies. The communiqué further stated that great openness and dynamics have facilitated improvement of living standards and drastic decrease of poverty.

Ukraine is looking forward to new challenges of the 21st century:

  • globalisation of world financial and economic systems;
  • political and economic integration of European countries into one of the world’s most powerful unions;
  • dramatic changes in communication technologies and global computer nets;
  • and also, to an increase in the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, and possible eruption of new conflicts on the basis of aggressive separatism, etc.

Whether we like globalisation or not (and many do not like it, especially those who have suffered in the first global financial turmoil of 1997-1998), globalisation has become a fact of modern life and development. No doubt it will define the meaning of the 21st century.

That is why we have to make a choice. The question is whether

  • Ukraine will deeply, radically modernise its entire economy, restructure its industries and agriculture and join the mankind’s golden billion entering the post-industrial era, the era of information technologies,


  • Ukraine will not withstand competition with the world’s most developed nations and will withdraw from it, becoming a "marginal" power, Europe’s raw-material appendix or, even worse, an underdeveloped Eurasian country.

History has not given us very much time: 10 or a maximum of 20 years. That is our window of opportunity which still remains open but may slam and remain shut for many years, if not for good.

It is critically important for Ukraine’s political elite to understand this situation of choice, of being able to adequately react to history’s challenges.

Ukraine is standing at a crossroads facing a choice:

  • There are those (which I would call national radicals) who would lead us to the 18th century, to the imaginary, picturesque-countryside Ukraine of their dreams, Ukraine that never was and never will be;
  • There are those who are calling us to go back to the 20th century, back into the Red Utopia;
  • There are those who would rather have us follow some special, Ukrainian road of self-isolation, politically closed authoritarian environment.

But the only realistic way for Ukraine is to accept the challenge of history, mobilise the society and the economy and integrate into the European and global community.

Ukraine needs a long-term strategy of development (for 10 to 20 years) based on a number of fundamental principles:

Firstly, people do not exist for the state’s sake, but the state exists for the people’s sake. In order to successfully introduce this principle not only the administrative state system but people’s psychology must be changed: both in those who lead the people and in those who are being led. This process may last for several generations.

Secondly, people must get economic freedom in the broadest sense. Economic freedom will bring about political freedom. The administrative state machine and the economy must be separated.

Thirdly, the creation of civil society is a vital element of Ukraine’s transformation. The development of NGO’s and the government’s effective cooperation with them, the enhancement of the role of local governance and free press are necessary to ensure success of this process.

Fourthly, the years 2002 through 2010 must see a "revolution of generations": the communist and post-communist nomenklatura must be displaced by a new generation of young people (aged 30 to 40) who will be familiar with Western principles of management and capable of acting in the conditions globalisation. Ukraine needs at least 30,000 of such new-type managers even today.

Fifthly, the state must concentrate its primary attention on education and training, focusing on foreign languages, computer literacy and INTERNET skills. The English language must become the second in rank medium of learning and international exchange, next only to the official language.

The fact that computerisation is not wide spread in Ukraine and the population does not have sufficient INTERNET access means that Ukraine is not quite ready to meet the challenges of existing and competing in the conditions of globalisation. Only roughly 8 Ukrainians in a thousand have INTERNET access. In the United States today, 115 people in a thousand do. This indicator in the US was 40 in a thousand in 1997, but then it had exploded.

Sixthly, all the state’s and the society’s efforts must be focused on a single most important mission: integration into the European Union. New legislative and normative base must be created. European standards must be introduced into all spheres of life: from the quality of drinking water to the level of human rights protection.

As I have mentioned President Kuchma has proclaimed joining the European Union the main goal of Ukraine’s politics, both domestic and foreign.

Dear friends, coming back to my book I can tell you that, although I am a doctor, a writer, a statesman, a politician and a philosopher, I am not Nostradamus, and so I will not generate catastrophic predictions. But based on an objective analysis of events and challenges facing Ukraine I am providing versions, scenarios of possible developments.

The tragedy of Ukraine’s situation in the past was that throughout the centuries, the nation had stood under the signs of the Fire and the Sword. Ukraine suffered its greatest losses during the 20th century, giving Olexander Dovzhenko, a famous Ukrainian cinematographer and writer, the right to cry out in pain, as he did in 1942: O, my Fatherland! O, vast, merciless battlefield! O, wild prairie of Europe!

Ukrainians must do everything they can to become a strong people, a powerful nation in order to prevent Ukraine from becoming once again, and forever, the wild prairie of Europe.

Thank you for your attention – and patience.

For more information, please contact:
Taras Malyshevskyi, Press Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine
310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Tel. (613) 230-2961, fax (613) 230-2400,