Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 8 / Trend / E.Tariverdiyeva /
Former Ukrainian President
Viktor Yushchenko made a speech at the morning session of 21st Economic Forum in Krynica Zdroj, Poland today, Deputy Dean of the History Department at Moscow State University, Chief Editor of Vestnik Kavkaza and Trend Expert Council member Alexei Vlasov, told Trend.
"I'm proud of 20 years of Ukraine's independence and especially five years of my presidency, when we reached the highest economic growth rates and high rates of international investments," Yushchenko said. "During these five years, we have changed both internally and externally, began to differently think and feel. We returned home - to Europe, where our state - Kievan Rus established. No one will turn us back, no one can make us believe that the slave can be happy. So, now we are not slaves."
He underscored that the EU will inevitably reach a higher level of integration, and he believes a free Ukraine will become part of this space.
However, other speakers at the morning session were not so optimistic. The speaker of the Estonian parliament said the construction of the financial "pyramid" by some EU member states suggests sad political prospects for further European integration.
"We are all in the same boat. We should help in solving the problems of other countries, but we do not want to become hostage to this situation. This situation reduces population's trust in the EU," he said.
The annual meeting in Krynica includes 5 plenary sessions and more than 100 discussion panels organized in twelve thematic blocks: macroeconomics, business and management, energy forum, innovations and sustainable development, health care, education and culture, society, international policy and security, NGO Forum, the European Union and its neighbours, state and reforms and the forum of regions. A special panel will be devoted to the topic of South Caucasus.