To make pivotal changes, Ukraine needs to take a leap – a discussion including Petro Poroshenko

The Russian-Ukrainian war places us in more cruel circumstances than those of a peaceful time.  If the government will not accept such values as responsibility, honesty and cooperation, and will not be guided by these, then we can lose, -- such an opinion was voiced by Alexander Paskhaver at LvBS. On May 22nd, Lviv Business School hosted a discussion among business representatives on the topic “Living in a new manner or the European strategy of Ukraine.”

Participants in the discussion were Alexander Paskhaver, historian Yaroslav Hrytsak, and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko.

According to Alexander Paskhaver, Ukrainians as a people do not master that system of values and character traits which would permit them to become wealthy and secure.     “I am referring to such values as responsibility, honesty in interactions, cooperation. Supposedly it’s all simple, but Ukrainians do not possess these traits.This relates to the strategy of survival which developed in us throughout our history.  The absence of these qualities creates a very serious threshold which it is complicated to cross.   However, it is important to remember that first are the values – then the institutes; first the values – then the laws; otherwise it will not be,” summarized the economist.  In his opinion the main thing on the Maidan was that this movement was organized according to the principles of social values. 

Yaroslav Hrytsak believes that in order to make pivotal changes in Ukraine, one has to take a leap:  “A leap almost never happens due to good will; it takes place then when things are very bad: a war, revolution, economic crisis.”  The historian described  conditions for such a leap:  an existing elite, which comes into power and possesses the political will to make changes, a vision, and a definite program of the leap with a humanitarian dimension.

Candidate for President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, during his appearance focused on the issue of the decentralization of government:  “Correctly balanced mandates between the center and the regions -- this is more crucial than the division of authority within a triangle: president – government – parliament. There is no alternative to empowering local powers.  It is the European way and we should develop in that direction.”

He noted that in Ukraine there have never yet been honest elections and an honest expression of will by the citizens. Thereby, it does not mean that skewing of the people’s will was only done by the representatives of the Party of Regions:   “No, this was taken on by all.  And today, we have to allow the people to really pick their representatives.”

Petro Poroshenko added: “After February 18-20, we are living in a different country where there live a different people, who are more responsible.  And if we can deliver the message that the choosing of their deputies is not only their (the people’s) right but also their responsibility, then there will no longer be those about whom one could simply nod one’s head and say: ‘whom you chose, so you will have to live’.”

UCU Vice-Rector Myroslav Marynovych in turning to Petro Poroshenko noted:  “I personally would like to wish you that the heavens assist you in making the correct choice.  After May 25th, the brakes will screech loud, there will be many forces, centers, who will attempt to stop the course which we expect to follow. Then there will emerge a question – how do we reach a compromise? what can we do in order to prevent Ukraine from splitting?  And it could happen, that in taking into account these dangers, we will once again move very slowly.”

According to Myroslav Marynovych, such a situation creates a threat to the candidate for presidency, since if he is elected to the position of the head of the country, his presidency could become only temporary: “I would like it to be different – that your presidency is the first after which Ukraine together with you passes through the eye of the needle and will actively move ahead with support of the people.”

We remind our readers, that this is not Petro Poroshenko’s first visit to LvBS.  In November 2013, he attended the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Lviv Business School.