Every one of us is a President. After the elections my six-year-old son said: “Pa, I saw them saying on TV that Zelenskyi is the President. So I am President, too.” Back then it looked like a joke of a child. It now looks true. Each one of us is a President, not the 73 per cent that voted for me but the 100 per cent of Ukrainians. It is our joint responsibility.
This victory is not just mine but our joint victory, it is also our joint chance that we are jointly responsible for. It’s not just me who has just been sworn in. Every one of us has just put their hand on the Constitution and sworn allegiance to Ukraine.
Just imagine these outrageous headlines: the President is not paying taxes, the President was driving drunk, the President is stealing bit by bit. It’s what everyone does. You agree that it’s a shame. It is what I mean when I say that every one of us is a President. Starting from today every one of us is responsible for what they can do where they are.
A European state starts with everyone. Yes, we have chosen our way towards Europe, but Europe is not somewhere there, Europe is here (pointing a finger to his head). And when Europe will be right here, it will be in Ukraine. It is our joint dream. We also have our joint pain. Every one of us has died in Donbas. Every day we keep losing every one of us and every one of us is an internally displaced person, the one who lost their own house and the ones who opened their houses to them and shared their pain. Every one of us is a migrant worker, those who have not found the opportunities at home but did found them in a foreign land. We are all Ukrainians. From Uzhhorod to Luhansk, from Chernihiv to Simferopol. And we have to be united. Today I address all Ukrainians in the world. We are 65 million, born by the Ukrainian land in Europe, Asia and America. We need you very much. I will grant citizenship to all ready to build a new, strong and successful Ukraine!
Migrant workers need to return home. You have to be coming to Ukraine not to visit but to stay at home. We are waiting for you. No need to bring the souvenirs. Bring us your knowledge and your experience. Sceptics say it is impossible. Maybe it is actually our national idea – to make the impossible by uniting ourselves. Please recall the Iceland national football team at the UEFA European Championship when a dentist and a cleaner fought and did what no one believed they could do. It is what our chance is. We have to become what Icelanders are in football, Japanese in technology, Israeli in our ability to defend our land despite any differences. Our priority task is the ceasefire in Donbas.
I am ready to be losing public support.I stand ready to be losing my public support and my rankings. I am ready to lose my post if only peace will come.
I was frequently asked: what are you ready to do to have the fire ceased. What a strange question. Ukrainians, what are you ready to do when the lives of your dearest people are at stakes? I can reassure you: I am ready to do anything to stop our heroes from being killed. I am ready to be losing my ranking, public support, to lose my post for the peace to come, without losing our territories. Ever. History is unjust. It’s not us who started this war but we are to finish it. We are ready for the dialogue but I am convinced that the first step to start this dialogue will be the return of Ukrainian prisoners*. (*pronounced in Russian).
Return of territories. Our next challenge is the return of the lost territories. To be honest, I think it is not quite correct as it is impossible to return what is ours by rights. Both Crimea and Donbas are our land. Today we have to, I am sure they hear us, they have to return their consciousness. We are all Ukrainians. Ukrainian is not in the passport. Ukrainian is at heart.I know it for sure. I am ready to be protecting Ukraine and our heroes. No strong army is possible where the army does not feel that the authorities respect them. It is about decent and stable remuneration, living conditions, lawful leaves for you. One should not be talking NATO standards but creating these standards. Of course, besides the war there are many troubles making Ukrainians unhappy – tariffs, salaries and pensions. There’s also healthcare and the roads that are being repaired in someone’s head only.
“Government is our problem”. Now let me quote an American actor who became a cool US President: “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” It is just a quote. And I honestly don’t understand our government that is just shrugging shoulders. You can take a piece of paper and a pen and free up your offices for those who will be thinking about the next generation not the next election. My election proves that the citizens are tired of experienced politicians from within the system. We will build a country of different opportunities, where everyone is equal before the law, where there are rules of the game that are honest and transparent. To achieve that, the people who will serve the nation need to come.
I very much want that there are no portraits of mine in your offices. The President is not an icon or a portrait. Put there the pictures of your children and look them in the eyes before you make decisions.
“I dissolve the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.” I can say a lot, but Ukrainians want actions not words. Dear MPs, it was you who scheduled the inauguration for Monday, a work day. I see a positive side of it. It means there will be no parties today, we have to work. So I am asking you to adopt the law on revocation of the parliamentary immunity, on criminal liability for illicit enrichment, the long-discussed Election Code and introduce the open lists. I ask you to dismiss the head of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the Defense Minister. It is not an exhaustive list of what you can do. You will have two more months to go. Do it and award yourselves medals. Good points for the early parliamentary elections. I dissolve the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) of the eighth convocation. Glory to Ukraine!
Thank you. Wrapping up, I’ll be brief. Dear people, my whole life I was trying to make everything so that Ukrainians laugh. It was not only my job but also my mission. In the next five years I will make everything for you not to cry.