Ukraine PM in exclusive interview: ‘We are building a new country’

Volodymyr Groysman speaks about the rising antisemitism, the conflict with Russia and the growing ties with Europe: “We are supported by the entire international community”.

By IRIS GEORLETTE/MAARIV
August 26, 2018 06:59
Volodymyr Groysman

Volodymyr Groysman . (photo credit: UKRAINE CRISIS MEDIA CENTER)

 
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“We are open to the world, and the world opens its gates to us. Ukraine is destined for greatness. I believe that. I live and work for that. That is my narrative.”

So says Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman in an exclusive interview to Maariv magazine.

Groysman, elected April of 2016, is the only Jewish Prime Minister currently in office in a country other than Israel.

At 40, Groysman is leading a country that has faced several challenges over recent years; the conflict with Russia and the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula; the rising antisemitism, and the fight to eradicate corruption.

“We’ve started a new chapter in Ukraine’s rise as a country,” said Groysman. “We are in fact building a new Ukraine. Ukraine is a beautiful country of 45 million people, a multi-cultural nation that has proven its commitment to democracy… to the entire world.”

Groysman continued, “I am proud of our nation, of the talented youth, the business people. I respect the older generation. Month after month we see the export businesses flourish. There is Ukrainian contribution to a lot of initiatives and technological inventions in the world, and that is certainly inspiring,” Groysman commended. “We are living today in a unique stage of development.”

On international relations, specifically with Europe, Groysman said, “Ukraine is closer to Europe than ever. Our collaboration with NATO has grown as well.”

“Ukranian people are people of strong faith, strong will, outstanding optimism and inbred tolerance,” states Groysman. “Different people lived on this land during different eras; the communal life of peace between faiths, ethnicities and religions is the uniqueness of Ukraine.”

Groysman, a lawyer by profession, was born in Vinnytsia, Ukraine to a Jewish family. He declares himself to be Jewish and openly prays in synagogue; even today, despite the antisemitism in Ukraine.  

Translated by Hadas Labrisch.

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