Address by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Ireland Sergii Reva at the opening ceremony of the photograph Exhibition “Ukraine: Inspiring Dignity”
Dublin, 12 February 2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear Ukrainian compatriots,
It is a particular pleasure for me to welcome you today at the opening
ceremony of the photograph Exhibition “Ukraine: Inspiring Dignity”.
There is no strength without pain. There is no strength without suffering.
That’s a path many nations passed. Now it’s time for Ukraine to wake
up and pave its way through historic challenges to freedom and national
Freedom is a priceless gift always worth fighting for.
And that was the idea which lead thousand hundred Ukrainians to
Maidan a year ago.
Maidan became both a turning point and the most tragic event in the
history of independent Ukraine. 103 people were shot dead and more
than one thousand injured on the streets of Kyiv during the Revolution
But nevertheless during that time we all witnessed a phenomenon, which
previously we could not even imagine: an unprecedented growth of
national consciousness, self-respect and dignity of the Ukrainian people.
People came to Maidan for different reasons. Nationalists and liberals,
football hooligans and gray-haired intellectuals who took an active part
in the revolutionary events saw different models of development of
However, they all fought for the rule of law, fair courts and police,
decent standards of living, real fight against corruption and European
future for their nation.
The renewal of Ukraine’s path towards European integration and the
signing and ratification of the EU Association Agreement became
positive consequences of Maidan.
As I mentioned in my presentation at the Conference currently 14 EU
countries, Ireland among them, had ratified the Association Agreement
We take this as yet another proof of real support to Ukraine’s European
aspirations and solidarity with the Ukrainian people in these difficult
As Benjamin Franklin said, those who “... can give up essential liberty
to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Fighting for dignity and European values was the main driving force of
And this strength of ordinary people who proved that freedom is
stronger than fear which you can see in the eyes of those pictured at the
photos presented here.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Dublin City
University, to the members of the “Ukraine Connection Society” and all
Ukrainians who contributed to this exhibition. My special thanks go to
My Lithuanian collegue H.E.Ambassador Rasa Adomaitiene and all our
Lithuanian friends who made this event possible.
This is a real support and a gesture of solidarity with Ukrainians who
now, as a year ago, continue to fight for their right to live in and be a
part of a civilised, democratic and free Europe.
I am confident that along with the efforts by the states and governments,
the support of ordinary people is very important.
We in Ukraine feel this support which is growing every day.
We do believe that because of that one day we will have a peace in our
home and our children will feel no threat to their lives.