Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, while on a working visit to Australia, met with met with political scientists, representatives of expert, academic, business circles and students at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
Delivering a speech at the European Union Centre at RMIT University, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze focused on the prospects and challenges facing Ukraine on the road to the EU and NATO.
"Over the past few years, Ukraine has managed to establish such relations with the European Union and NATO, which should be among true partners," the Vice Prime Minister emphasized.
She touched upon fundamental changes in Ukrainian society, noting the leading role of the younger generation in this process.
"European and Euro-Atlantic integration is a strategic course of Ukraine, which gives us a clear plan of action for the transformation of the country. At present, Ukraine is paying a huge price for its independence and the right to be democratic. However, despite the threats, attacks and provocations, economic and social difficulties, our course remains unchanged . Our goal is to build a strong, prosperous and globally competitive Ukraine", Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze said.
Along with the development of economic, political and legal systems, Ukraine has achieved tangible results in in reforming the defense sector. Active engagement with NATO member states in the field of military training, as well as participation in NATO-led operations, missions and military exercises enables to strengthen and reform the Armed Forces that have already proven their ability to withstand Russian aggression.
"Today, Ukraine has one of the largest active and capable armies in Europe, de facto is the eastern flank of NATO. I am convinced that, having shifted to the NATO standards, Ukraine will become one of the strongest pillars of Euro-Atlantic security", the Vice Prime Minister stressed.
Assisting Ukraine in becoming a viable democracy and strengthening its defense capabilities is key to the security of the whole of Europe and stability in the Euro-Atlantic landscape. Ukraine, like Australia, seeks to deepen cooperation and become NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Partner (EOP). Involving Ukraine in this program, in which Australia is already participating, will help strengthen bilateral cooperation on defense and security issues.
"We will not allow anyone to divert Ukraine from its European and Euroatlantic path.However, Ukraine needs support and assistance from strong democracies.This is crucial for success of the forces who are working to reform Ukraine and protect it from the attacks of Russia", Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze underscored.
The attendees expressed considerable interest in the current state of relations with Russia in view of the continued military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the development of cooperation with the EU and NATO, the internal situation in Ukraine, in particular, by taking on board future elections.
The participants of the discussion paid particular attention to the potential of the positive impact of educational reform and the need to promote Ukraine's tourist attractiveness.
In addition, Australian experts were interested in the development of the agro-industrial complex and business in general.