Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“Den’s books make for a fantastic gift”

Hanna Hopko spoke about Christine Lagarde’s visit to Ukraine and the impression our history had made on her
8 September, 2015 - 11:16
Крістін Лагард
Photo from Hanna HOPKO's Facebook page

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde is on a working visit to Ukraine. During a meeting with the top leadership of our country, including President Petro Poroshenko, she discussed the situation in our financial-economic sector and the implementation of the second Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies’ provisions as well as those of the Extended Credit Facility bilateral program, agreed between Ukraine and the IMF for a period of 4 years. Apart from discussing the course and prospects for implementation of reforms in Ukraine, in particular in its tax, banking, and financial policies as well as in the anti-corruption fight, Lagarde met with women leaders in the public sector, journalism, and politics. During one such meeting, held on September 6, MP Hanna Hopko presented the distinguished guest with an English edition of Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25, a book from Den’s Library series, to enable “a deeper understanding of Ukrainian history.”

“Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25, telling our history from the time of Ancient Rus’ to the 21st century, became a good Ukrainian souvenir, as did a map of Ukraine,” Hanna Hopko posted on Facebook. We asked the MP to tell us about Lagarde’s visit to Ukraine and the impression Den’s book had made on her.

“It was the first time that a foreign guest whom I presented with Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25 (I had given the book to some prominent people before, including Jens Stoltenberg and Joe Biden) had already visited St. Sophia Cathedral. Lagarde was simply wonder-stricken after seeing the cathedral. In fact, when presenting the book during that meeting, I pointed out that one could find a lot of answers about the historical continuity of Ukraine in it, noting that when St. Sophia Cathedral was completed, Moscow did not even exist yet. Lagarde replied that it was an interesting detail, and added that the West should know Ukrainian history better. As Lagarde is a French citizen, we recalled the story of Anne of Kyiv, Queen of France in that conversation...

“Incidentally, after receiving the book gift and having that conversation, Lagarde noted at a meeting with Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Hroisman on September 7 that she discerned signs of a mighty millennium-old civilization while visiting St. Sophia Cathedral.

“Her recent arrival, actually, her support for Ukraine are very important in this troubled time. As we fight for a strong Ukraine, with economic strength being the top priority, Lagarde can become a symbol of the world’s support for us. Ukraine keeps up its fight for dignity and freedom. Therefore, we need the support of Lagarde, not only as the head of the IMF, but also as one of the most powerful women globally. She was the first woman to hold finance, economy, and labor portfolios in France at the time, and she joined forces with Zbigniew Brzezinski to get Poland into the EU and NATO... I asked for help which would come not only through the IMF, but more comprehensively as well, following the example of Poland. This help is needed not by the government, which may well be replaced, but by the Ukrainian people itself, which has a thousand-year-long history. So, I repeat, Den’s book was a fantastic gift promoting a deeper understanding of our history. I confess that Lagarde was surprised to see such serious English-language publications appearing in Ukraine on private initiative. She will understand now that there is a people living here which needs help to become strong enough to protect its civilizational choice.”

By Vadym LUBCHAK, The Day