Francis Fukuyama, a well-known U.S. philosopher, political scientist, professor at the Stanford University, said this during a conversation with journalists in Vienna on Thursday as part of Tipping Point Talks organized by the ERSTE Foundation, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
"I do think [Ukraine] is important in one way or another because it is a big country. It's a kind of frontline of the struggle against Putinism," he said, when asked by the agency's correspondent about Ukraine's role in developing the European project.
The political scientist noted that Ukraine's return to Russian orbit would be a bad sign for many countries in the region.
"The reason why I spend a lot of time in Ukraine, working with young Ukrainians, as I do, is that I think it's really important for Europe as a whole. Because if Ukraine comes to Putin-style kleptocracy, if it gets back into Russian orbit or if it just simply doesn't get any better, it's going to be a bad sign for a lot of countries in the region," he said.
On the other hand, the U.S. philosopher said, in case of success Ukraine will become a symbol of a bright future in the post-Soviet space.
"If it can actually reform itself, deal decisively with corruption, take the right policy decisions that allow its economy to grow, then I think it's going to become a symbol for a more hopeful post-Soviet world, former Communist world," Fukuyama said.
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