Monday, May 19, 2008

Vitali Klitschko Mayoral Election Interview

I found an interview by Bridget Johnson, on World News. It discusses Vitali's thought on his mayoral election campaign. It's a pretty short interview, but I thought it worth sharing.

How is your race for the mayor’s office going?

"I have a very good chance to win."

What are the similarities between boxing and politics?

"You fight for ideas, fight for your dream in boxing. Actually, boxing is not as complicated as politics. Politics is much more difficult, totally different roles. The will to win, the will to go through help me in politics as well. (These) help not just in boxing, but help in life and politics."

Do you have political ambitions beyond Kiev mayor?

"I have ambition to make my city much better and comfortable for everyone coming here. ... Infrastructure, traffic problems. We have so many social problems, but the main problem is corruption. People in business are afraid to invest money in Kiev, afraid to work to invest money in infrastructure for the people. We can do that. Everyone explains the vision how they want to see our city. ... We need to breathe fresh air into our city."

How have your life experiences shaped your attitude toward the West and democracy?

"I remember my first visit from the Soviet Union in 1989 to the U.S. It opened democracy world for me. … I see the life standards in U.S. and what we have to bring here to Ukraine. People want to be part of the modern world; it’s one point to speak, another point to be."

Are you alarmed at how some former Soviet states are slipping back to restricted freedoms, such as in Putin’s Russia?

"Ukraine just two years ago made very important decision with the Orange Revolution. People go to the streets to demonstrate against totalitarianism -- fighting for freedom, fighting for democracy -- and democracy won. … In a couple years Ukraine will be part of European Union. Geographically it is European country; we have to feel European inside Ukraine."


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