Meeting with the participants of the Annual Session of the Heads of Ukraine’s Foreign Diplomatic Missions, President Petro Poroshenko named the priority tasks for Ukrainian diplomats.
Protection of rights and interests of Ukraine’s citizens abroad shall be an important priority in the diplomatic activities. “I cannot but thank Ukrainian consuls protecting the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens in the Russian Federation in the challenging environment,” the President said reminding that the day before he had awarded the state decorations to the consuls representing Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don and in Moscow.
The Head of State emphasized that every citizen of Ukraine staying abroad should feel attention and support on the part of our state. “Diplomatic and consular missions should respond duly to each extraordinary event, each problem of Ukrainians abroad,” Petro Poroshenko said.
In the view of systemic worsening of the human rights situation and the rapid militarization of Crimea, the President expects the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to translate into practice the initiative on establishing an international multilateral mechanism for de-occupation of the peninsula.
The Head of State also named the promotion of Ukraine’s defensive capacity strengthening among important tasks of our diplomats. The army reform to the best Euro-Atlantic standards is of strategic importance. “We see long-term guarantees of our independence in the deepening of cooperation with the NATO. Our partners should understand the investments in Ukraine’s defense are investments in the security and defense of the united democratic Europe ,” the President said.
European integration is another priority area for diplomatic efforts since our international partners’ support is important on this path. “European values and European reforms are not a mere strategy of our development. Today, this is the guarantee to underlie our security, economic welfare, social stability and our final breaking with the totalitarian ideology,” the Head of State noted.
According to the President, it is important to use the precedent of visa-free regime with the EU to promote visa liberalization with our other key partners – Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the UK and others.
Moreover, Ukrainian diplomacy should become a driver of foreign trade and investment attraction. “The curtailment of our trade relations with Russia and launching the free trade area with the EU create the game-changing foreign economic environment for Ukraine. Trade diversification, search for new markets for our exporters are the matters of our economic security,” the President underscored. Promoting Ukrainian exports to the Far East including South-Eastern Asia, Africa, Latin America is also of importance.
The President mentioned the interest of foreign investors to Ukraine and emphasized that we start a large-scale privatization programme that includes inter alia Odessa Port Plant, port infrastructure, power generating and power supplying companies. “The key position of our diplomatic service is to communicate unbiased information to potential bidders. I stress that the tenders are transparent and we invite foreign advisors,” - noted Petro Poroshenko .
The President paid special attention to counteracting to the Russian hybrid information war and preventing the creation of a distorted image of Ukraine abroad. “Awareness activities improving the image of Ukraine abroad should become your everyday routine. The main threat is the information vacuum, when Ukraine disappears not only from political, but also from economic, information, cultural radars in some country. Ukraine should be familiar to everybody, Ukrainian issues should be on the top of the agenda,” the President stressed.
The Head of State accented on the need to strengthen institutional presence of Ukraine in the information and cultural space in other countries, establishing the so-called “Ukrainian institutes” abroad. In particular, he mentioned the experience of Poland, Germany and France to learn from.
Petro Poroshenko emphasized that he is very meticulous about appointment of ambassadors. “Both in the army and on the diplomatic front, there is no room for officers, moreover, the commanders who do not believe in what they defend, for whom patriotism is just a slogan, but not their sincere conviction. A post of an ambassador is an award,” the President underscored.
At the same time, the Head of State believe the situation relating to the diplomatic service staff remunerations is intolerable, and it should be corrected while planning the budget. “Diplomacy like the army may not be financed with whatever funds remain. Do you remember I told about soldiers: a soldier should have clothing, footwear, food and arms. I emphasize the same concerns diplomats to the full extent ,” he said.
The Head of State summarized: “We derive our strong belief in the victory from thousands of heroes on the frontline. And the sacred duty of a diplomat, the duty of each of us is to do everything to make the victory of Ukraine inevitable.”
The President of Poland Andrzej Duda who was present at the meeting with the diplomats told about the Polish foreign policy priorities, which are based on the Polish people’s values: sovereignty, security, solidarity of free peoples and human dignity of every individual. He also noted that the rule of international law is the main pillar in the Poland’s international policy. “This principle is a prerequisite for permanent peace in the world. We can clearly see this looking at the conflict in the eastern Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea. The main rules of the international law - inviolability of borders and integrity of an independent state - have been violated there,” - Andrzej Duda said adding that the policy of aggression destroys trust between nations.