Petition supporting the pro-european movement in Ukraine
Petition by personnalities and intellectuals supporting the pro-european movement in Ukraine.
published on 22 February
The aim of the petition hereafter is to aid european opinion understand clearly what is really at stake in the confrontation that has been taking place for weeks in Kiev. Regardless of the question of whether it is desirable and possible that Ukraine should join the European Union and what form the rapprochement with the latter should take, it is indispensable to keep in mind that, through its history and its culture, Ukraine belongs to European civilization, and that it was united with the Russian Empire only in the 18th century, i.e. at a time when Russia was turning resolutely towards Europe – before the Bolshevik Revolution tore it from Europe anew. For sure, Russia had been baptized – and had thus entered the Christian World – in Kiev, in the 10th century. But that was Kievian Russia, and it was before the Mongol invasion (13th century). After 120 years of Mongol rule, the Kievian State was liberated by a Lithuanian prince and could renew its traditional ties with both Europe and the byzantine world. The new « Russia » which took shape under the princes of Moscow and which, for a long time was called « Muscovy », remained under Mongol rule for 250 years, cut off from Byzantium and the West - and it is to this fact that it owes its « Eurasian » originality. As an Orthodox country belonging to Europe because it was part of the political entity formed by the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom, Ukraine has been nourished, like all the rest of Europe, by Latin scholastics, Italian music and architecture and German municipal law. It is because Ukraine was a Russian speaking European world (both languages, Russian and Ukrainian, were fixed as distinct only in the 18th century) that Muscovy reaped in it the first fruits of Europe that could not ripen on its soil : Slavonic translations of Greek and Latin classical authors, the printing shop, School, Music… One can say without overstatement that, without a European Ukraine, without the coming to Mucovy of European-Ukrainian specialists trained at the Kiev Academy, Russian civilization could not have given the admirable fruits it gave later, in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is thus also in the interest of Russia that Ukraine should keep its vital links with Europe. All those elements have to be considered.
We are dismayed by the refusal of the Ukrainian authorities to heed the voice of the hundreds of thousands of people who have peacefully assembled for more than a month to demand that the historical and natural links that exist between their country and Russia should not mean that the links – just as historical and natural – that unite it with Europe, its culture and traditions, should be slackened or severed.
Galia Ackerman (essayiste)
Antoine Arjakovsky (historien)
Michel Aucouturier (slaviste)
Wladimir Berelowitch (historien)
Alain Besançon (historien)
Jean-François Bouthors (éditeur)
Laurent Bouvet (professeur de science politique)
Rémi Brague (philosophe)
Barbara Cassin (philosophe)
Pierre Caussat (philosophe)
Stéphane Chmelewsky (ancien ambassadeur de France à Minsk)
Dominique Colas (professeur de science politique)
Sauvons l'Europe (Mouvement Europrogressiste)