Посол України у Фінляндській Республіці Андрій Олефіров дав інтерв’ю фінському виданню «Iltalehti», присвячене відзначенню 25-ї річниці референдуму 1 грудня 1991 року в Україні.
My country is 25 years old
25 years ago, on December 1, 1991, a referendum on the Act of Declaration of Independence was held in Ukraine. An overwhelming majority of 92.3% of voters approved the declaration of independence made by the Ukrainian Parliament on August 24, 1991. The Act of Independence was supported by a majority of voters in each of the 27 administrative regions of Ukraine, including Crimea.
From December 2, 1991 and on, Ukraine was globally recognized as an independent state by other countries. That day the President of the Russian SFSR Boris Yeltsin did the same. Finland recognized Ukraine’s independence on December 30 that year.
I remember that day very well since it was the first time I took part in a plebiscite. I was and still am proud that I have directly contributed to the independence of my homeland and did it not with a gun but with a ballot in my hand…
Looking back, I clearly see bright moments, but there were also miscalculations, slow reforming and lack of a vision – it takes time to build any independent state at all, let alone a country that underwent “the Soviet experiment”.
But today, after Revolution of Dignity of 2014, I may say that we have already crossed the point of no return back to the USSR. Indeed, in less than three years since the Revolution of Dignity of 2013-2014, my country has made more progress in dealing with corruption and reforming its institutions than in the previous 23 years. Introduction of the e-eclaration is the best proof for that: more than 100 000 civil servants have already made all their assets accessible for public scrutiny. Introduction of the public e-procurement system ProZorro is eradicating corruption while also saving in the region of 100 million Euro to date. New reformed police forces have already begun to operate in 32 cities. We replaced the soviet-style corrupted street police with new young and motivated police officers. They are already enjoying greater support from the wider public. Having contracted by 9% over the last two years, the economy is now set to grow by almost 3%, investment have increased by 11,4% this year alone, conducting business is becoming easier than ever before.
The success of the Ukrainian reforms is confirmed by reputable international institutions and rankings: Ukraine reformed across all World Bank Doing Business indicators, we climbed 25 positions in the United Nations E-Government Development Index, 16 positions in “Strength of Investors Protection” in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, 57 positions in Tax Paying Rank composed by the World Bank.
And we have achieved all of this under the most challenging of circumstances – a Russia-led war against Ukraine.
We understand that in these circumstances we have to be strong both inside – and I indicated our progress in this regard – but also outside. And that’s where we count on our international partners, including Finland: this war costs thousands of lives of Ukrainian both military and civilians, Russian occupation of Crimea and Donbas costs at least 5% of our GDP. So what we need from our partners is their support of our reforms and our fight against the aggressor.
I am totally sure that not only Europe but whole democratic world would be better off with Ukraine as an independent, peaceful, predictable and successful country.
Ambassador of Ukraine to Finland