President Zelenskyy’s address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

July 10,2024 289
President Zelenskyy’s address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Mr. Ryan, thank you for the kind introduction,

Mr. McConnell, I am grateful for your firmness in defending freedom, and for your visits to Ukraine to see how important it is to win now. To prevail over the Russian war and terror. To win, so that the words said in the 20th century remain valid and relevant today: “Strategy for peace has always been simple – be strong enough, be determined enough so that no adversary would think even for a moment that war might pay.”

These are the words of Ronald Reagan. He said this in 1988 – about NATO’s strategy, and it is symbolic to repeat them now here – on the eve of the NATO Summit in Washington. Time passes, but more and more people reflect on what President Reagan said, what he did, what he changed.

And these are the words about America – America which the world values, is grateful to, wants to see – wants to see leading the world as only America can.

Reagan delivered this speech on February 23. The next February date, the 24th, but in a completely different era – in 2022 – has become the day of the greatest challenge both to Reagan’s legacy and to the rules-based world order, the order that President Reagan wanted to preserve at any time. Is it preserved now?

Ladies and gentlemen!

Let’s be – candid and frank – now everyone is waiting for November.

Americans are waiting for November. And Europe, Middle East, Indo-Pacific – the whole world is looking to November. And truly speaking – Putin awaits November too, but killing and destroying to get ready – to be ready for everything what November might bring. Even the anniversary NATO Summit which should become a top event does not indeed look strong in the media in contrast to what is expected from November. It seems that people do not even notice that NATO has expanded by two new countries at once – this is a historic event, but it is in the shadows of another story.

It’s time to step out of the shadows, to make strong decisions work, to act and not to wait for November or any other month. To this end, we must be strong and uncompromising. All together. And first of all America. And first of all the leaders of America and the President of the United States as a leader of the free world. To be uncompromising in defending democracy, uncompromising against Putin and his coterie, uncompromising to every possible terror. Exactly what all Ukrainians were on the 24th of February 2022, millions of the people of the world, and millions of Americans. Exactly what President Biden and the Congress were on the 24th of February. When Putin decided to break everything dear to us. We all acted as one, we didn’t wait a single day and even a minute. We were surviving every day and we did survive. Then the world saw that Putin could lose and democracy can win – can win even when it seemed impossible.

Then, what happened now? When did it step into the shadows?

When did one start thinking that it’s better to delay than act? That partial solutions are better than victory? And when it started to appear that to defend freedom is allegedly unsafe? And that to put Putin in place for blackmailing the whole world is allegedly unprofitable?

When and why did it happen?

The world can’t be secure without America. America cannot be a leader and a world dream maker without caring for world affairs.

America should not shy away from its strength. It is America that keeps the freedom for the world.

That’s why the world values America – America which acts.

Full text of the address: Office of the President of Ukraine

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