Kyiv Security Forum

Arseniy Yatsenyuk: There are some brand new challenges standing before politicians. I am in favor of updating political leadership away from populism

11 April 2019, 13:53

“At this stage, system politicians haven’t found an answer for system change. I — am in favorof updating political leadership. I — am in favorof the formation and defense of a position. In favorof letting my struggle prove my rectitude. Instead of going down the populist path of sweet promises,” said the Founder of the “Open Ukraine” Foundation and Prime Minister of Ukraine (2014-2016), Arseniy Yatsenyuk, while opening the 12 thKyiv Security Forum.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk underlined that 2019 will be a year of choices and challenges: “The Presidential elections are underway in Ukraine. And we are expecting that the winner will be announced in the second round and that the results will be as democratic as the first round.”

In addition, after the autumn elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, a new coalition will be in parliament, and a Cabinet of Ministers will be formed. The parliament elections are no less important than the elections of the President of Ukraine.

The European parliament elections are also on the horizon, after which a new majority will be formed and a new European Commission appointed, “which will have an impact on Ukraine as well.”

Arseniy Yatsenyuk underlined that we can draw a number of conclusions from modern political processes: “I believe that system politicians haven’t yet found a solution to system change. We are not ready for these new challenges. We must admit that this level of unpreparedness — when we are a step behind changes in the world, new technology, new approaches — leads to significant changes not only in the political but the ideological landscape.”

We also need to draw conclusions from century-old history, especially since this year we celebrate the centenary of Ukrainian Unity: “Ukraine was united, but due to divides within the state, a lack of political will, Russian aggression against then-Ukraine, and uncertainty in the West — Ukraine lost its statehood. As a result, Russian Bolshevism created an empire of evil, which initiated repression and dictatorship. The empire of evil also provoked conflict in the world and the Second World War, during which Stalin and Hitler were signing secret pacts and memorandums.

“Conclusion — we need to be able to enforce political leadership. We need to be able to admit unpleasant things.

We need to have a position and learn how to defend this position. We need to have values.

You can never follow whatever people want to hear. You must always follow what you believe and what you want to accomplish. And tofind in yourself the ability to overcome.”

The country faces the same challenges that it faced one hundred years ago: “But in front of us, as politicians, standcompletely new challenges,” he said.

“We can either allow the wave of populism and demagoguery wash over us, or we can stand firm by our valuesand learn how to convince citizens that this is the right choice. This is a difficult, but correct path,” stated theleader of the “National Front”.

“I — am in favorof updating political leadership. I — am in favorof the formation and defence of a position. Infavorof letting my struggle prove my rectitude. Instead of going down the populist path of sweet promises,”


This year Kyiv Security Forum, which takes place on April 11-12, gathered a record number of participants — over1000. Among them are high-ranking representatives of Ukrainian state and statehood, diplomats, and expertsfrom over 20 countries.

The annual “Kyiv Security Forum” was initiated by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk “Open Ukraine” Foundation in 2007.Since then, the Forum has become a platform for high-level, international discussions about relevant matters ofnational security, as well as the security of the Black Sea region, Europe, and the world.