Kyiv Security Forum

Taavi Rõivas: Action According to Rules Will Make Ukraine Successful

12 April 2019, 15:21

Ukraine needs an ambitious action plan. However, there is no need to reinvent the bicycle, just consistently follow the rules that the European partners live by. The Member of Parliament and Estonian Prime Minister, Taavi Rõivas, spoke about this at the 12th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

Taavi Rõivas brought up Estonia as an example, which "on the wreckage of the USSR started from zero."

"We had nothing. Complete zero. We just recognized this. Corruption, ruined courts, property rights, social values – there wasn’t a single textbook that could offer advice for this. Then we took the Roadmap to integration in the European Union and began doing what was outlined in it. It turned out that 95% of the time, the Roadmap consisted of actions that satisfied the interests of Estonians. We have achieved unprecedented success. Ukraine, like Estonia once, is experiencing difficult times that are best suited for transformation. You need an ambitious reform plan and the determination to act in accordance with the rules," advised the Estonian politician.

Taavi Rõivas rejected the Russian-taught thesis about the world of "spheres of influence", when one country is permitted to do something that is not allowed to another. In his opinion, Ukraine has equal rights on the European continent and globally.

"Every country has the right to an independent opinion. The economy should never overshadow the right of sovereignty. Double standards are unacceptable, just as there cannot be a division into "Europe of two velocities". All countries have equal opportunities, and the EU market should be open to others, including Ukraine. And when they talk about "fatigue from Ukraine", they are talking about a common reluctance to do something. Also, this in no way can be a reason to refuse to help Ukraine, which is opposing Russian aggression," said the former Prime Minister of Estonia.

Taavi Rõivas gave a detailed account of the issue of security and Russian aggression, noting that Estonia feels it’s influence every day.

"I was in Sloviansk, I was on the front line – these are not toys. Schools in ruins, people dying every day. This is a war, and it’s far from cold like it was in the 60’s of the last century. The West doesn’t have the right to ignore this fact. Ukraine is fighting for the entire free world. Russia intervenes in elections in the USA and France, in Brexit. After four years, Estonia realizes that nothing significant has changed in terms of security. Crimea has been annexed, the war in the Donbass continues. We have no right to relax," said Taavi Rõivas

Summing up, the Member of Estonian Parliament said that he hopes that the world focuses on Ukraine as a successful country.

"We want to see the successful history of Ukraine on a global scale. This will be the best response to your opponents and a testament to democracy as a whole," added Taavi Rõivas.


The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum was launched by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007. Since then, the Forum has become a platform for high-level international discussions on current issues of national security, security issues of the Black Sea region, Europe and the world.