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Davos Ukrainian Breakfast: NEWS


Main candidates for President of Ukraine spoke at Ukrainian breakfast in Davos Organized by Victor Pinchuk Foundation and EastOne

On January 24, 2019, in Davos (Switzerland), the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and international investment advisory group EastOne have held the annual Davos Ukrainian Breakfast, their 15th private event organized at the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The discussion addressed the challenges facing Ukraine and the choices lying ahead with the upcoming presidential elections.

Among the speakers were President of Ukraine, H.E. Petro Poroshenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland, 68th United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Leader of the “Civic Position” political party Anatoliy Grytsenko, Head of the parliamentarian faction All-Ukrainian Union “Batkivshchyna” Yulia Tymoshenko, and Founder and CEO of Jigsaw Jared Cohen. Fareed Zakaria, host of Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, moderated the conversation.

Opening the event, businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk has aid: “The elections must be free and fair. From the outside, the elections must be protected against interference by foreign actors. […] Not in every country we can see that a head of state and the leading competitors are ready to appear at the same event. This is called democracy in action, and this is great. […] We know that whoever wins, the European integration, the Western path – this is exactly our Ukrainian way forward.”

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has said in his speech: “I want to declare that we will stick to the course of the reform, and I as a president do my best to make this progress irreversible, to make it impossible to return back to the Russian Empire or to the Soviet Union. That is absolutely inacceptable. It is important to the whole Ukraine, as it is our joint achievement, and we have to recognize everybody’s efforts. I am really happy that we already have these results and we have to continue this course of the reform.”

Leader of the “Civic Position” political party Anatoliy Grytsenko has underlined that in order to build a new Ukraine, we need to fight corruption, create law enforcement that would not interfere with economy, establish equal conditions for competition and create opportunities for young Ukrainians. Answering a question about the biggest challenges for Ukraine, he named two issues: “Corruption is not merely steeling billions in cash, but corruption is killing. It is the hope and the spirit that are killed […] Another issue is the lack of professionals in power. […] I want the power to be strong, and that means strong by its vision, level of governance, responsibility and moral.”

Head of the parliamentarian faction All-Ukrainian Union “Batkivshchyna” Yulia Tymoshenko has said: “In my opinion, what is happening in Ukraine today, is both a big challenge and a very big chance. A chance, because with chaos, there is a possibility to build up a harmonious and nice order that we all would wish to see. And it is right now that we have time to think on what should be the architecture of a completely new country.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland has stated: “This is a competitive election. We do not know who is going to win. There are strong candidates competing openly with each other. We feel pretty confident: Ukrainian voters have a real competitive choice. The fact that Ukraine is able to have a competitive election is valuable and really important. I think it speaks above all of the strength of the Ukrainian civil society. The really great resource that Ukraine has is a strong, authentic, genuine civil society which showed its commitment to real democracy during the Revolution of dignity, and we are continuing to see the Ukrainian civil society really active.”

68th United States Secretary of State John Kerry has emphasized: “This election in many ways is much bigger than just about Ukraine. And I hope that people and the candidates themselves will all remember about that. This is part of what is happening globally. It is very simple – this is not a complicated political equation – to understand what is going on. People have been left behind. Globalization has played out unevenly. And if politicians contribute to the absence of the sense of future for people, then they contest the governance itself… Everybody who cares about the future of Ukraine and about what people want, who cares about the ability of people to be able to share in the future that the globalization is bringing us, it is vital to take part in this election, to have real choices through it and not to be interfered by any outside forces.”

Commenting on possible election meddling, Founder and CEO of Jigsaw Jared Cohen has said: “There is probably no country in the world that is more important to us than Ukraine. My view is that Ukraine is the most active cyber theatre in the entire world. It is experiencing a three front disinformation war: disinformation attacks on the political system, disinformation attacks on the relationship between Ukraine and its allies and disinformation attacks in support of military operations out in the east and elsewhere.”

Leaders from politics, business, civil society and the media from Ukraine and the world attended the event, among them: Carl Bildt, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014) and Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994); William Ford, Chief Executive Officer, General Atlantic LLC; Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations; Wolfgang Ischinger, Ambassador, Chairman of Munich Security Conference, member of YES Board; Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of Atlantic Council; Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv; Wladimir Klitschko, Co-Founder of Klitschko Brothers Fund; Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Poland (1995–2005), Chairman of the Board of YES; Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Founder of Rasmussen Global, Secretary General of NATO (2009-2014), and Prime Minister of Denmark (2001-2009); David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of the Carlyle Group; Timothy Snyder, the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University.

The Davos Ukrainian Breakfast has been organized annually since 2005 to promote Ukraine and bring Ukrainian and international leaders together.

In addition, to Davos Ukrainian Breakfast the Victor Pinchuk Foundation together with other partners - WNISEF, Horizon Capital and UVCA - for a second consecutive year, organizes the Ukraine House, which operates in Davos January 21-25, 2019.

Partners of the Davos Ukrainian Breakfast 2019

  • International Renaissance Foundation
  • Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF)
  • Horizon Capital

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