Kyiv Security Forum

Steven Pifer: Putin’s miscalculations seemed to encourage Ukraine to get closer to Europe

11 April 2019, 20:25

Russian President Volodymyr Putin's politics could be the reason for that Ukrainians have chosen a course for European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Such an opinion was expressed by the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Research Fellow of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at the Stanford University Mr. Steven Pifer (USA) during the 12th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

"Public opinion polls demonstrate that people generally support the idea of joining the Alliance, people say - we must be a NATO member. The Amendment to the Constitution in order to consolidate the strategic Euro-Atlantic course has been already passed through the Verkhovna Rada," he said.

Ex-Ambassador assumes that such a choice of the Ukrainian people was influenced by Russian aggression.

"Perhaps, Ukraine should "express gratitude" to Mr. Putin, this may be true that this is the result of his miscalculations, his policies over the past 5 years. Maybe, he was the one who encouraged Ukraine to move closer to Europe," Mr. Steven Pifer underlined.

Meanwhile, he added: "Today nobody doubts that Ukraine will continue to move along this path."

The Kyiv Security Forum was established by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007. A forum is an annual event that acts as a platform for high-level discussion on relevant matters of national security as well as security in the Black Sea region, Europe and the world.