Ukraine Celebrates 23rd Anniversary of Its Independence
TAKING this opportunity, I would like to congratulate all Ukrainian citizens and all our supporters in Cyprus on the occasion of the 23rd Anniversary of the Independence Day of Ukraine.
On this date the Ukrainian nation is meeting under unprecedented difficult conditions. We are experiencing brutal military intervention into our home affairs from the Kremlin. But to be really free we are ready to pay any price. Since now Ukrainians will never be again a part of the ex-Soviet empire.
After the proclamation of the Independence on August 24, 1991, Ukraine has started a new phase in its history. Proclamation of Independence of Ukraine was the result of the national and state building progress of the Ukrainian people, the incarnation of their eternal dream of freedom and independence.
The new state has entered the international arena. A strategic course towards European integration has been chosen in the foreign policy of Ukraine. In the bilateral sphere Ukraine is building strategic partnerships with key foreign partners on the principles of reciprocity and pragmatism, developing a network of the long-term partnership with the states that become new centers of political and economic development.
Ukraine has presented itself as a responsible international partner. The decision on the implementation of the policy of non-participation in the military alliances became an important element in the creation of a favorable security environment. Ukraine showed an example of nuclear disarmament, having voluntarily abandoned the third largest arsenal in the world of nuclear weapons that contributes to the overall stability and security in the world.
The successful Presidential elections were held in Ukraine on the 25th of May, a truly historic moment. After elections Ukraine’s democratic rule is fully restored. The President Petro Poroshenko received strong support from the Ukrainian people – almost 55% of votes.
Hence, we consider the presidential elections in Ukraine as a crucial element in the stabilisation of the situation in the country.
The international community has recognised the elections as free and democratic, and has confirmed readiness to cooperate with the President Poroshenko and to provide Ukraine with necessary assistance.
Ukraine is committed to finding a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the crisis in its Eastern regions that would provide for full respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity of my country. We call on the Russian Federation to restore full implementation of its international and bilateral obligations.
In this context we require the release of all hostages, including Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot, who had been captured by terrorists in the Eastern Ukraine and illegally taken to the Russian Federation. We appeal to international organisations and foreign states with a demand to condemn the systematic violations of rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens by the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine.
I would also like to note that Ukraine has sufficient legal framework and instruments to discuss and decide on devolving more power to the Ukrainian regions. Moreover, it is one of the priorities of the new Government of Ukraine.
Numerous efforts have been undertaken at the top political level of world leaders to deescalate the crisis and seek its peaceful resolution with full respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We have witnessed broad international condemnation of the actions of the Russian Federation that violate imperative norms of international law, the Helsinki Final Act, bilateral and multilateral agreements signed between Ukraine and the Russian Federation; actions that undermine the very foundation of European and global peace and security.
The international community has expressed support for initiatives of the President of Ukraine regarding the peaceful settlement of the situation in the east of Ukraine.
As a member of the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus contributes to this end in line with the EU’s common decisions and policy.
The Ukrainian side highly appreciates the weighted and balanced position of the Republic of Cyprus, which stands firmly for the respect of principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and the protection of human rights.
In particular, the Republic of Cyprus was among those countries who voted in favour of the resolution on ‘Territorial Integrity of Ukraine’, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 27 March 2014.
We are interested in further developing mutually beneficial comprehensive cooperation between our countries based on trust and understanding between friendly Ukrainian and Cypriot peoples.
We are also grateful to the Cypriot side for the traditional support of Ukraine’s European integration aspirations.
On 27 June 2014 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Brussels signed the association agreement with the European Union. The signing is a milestone and the most important day since Ukraine regained independence in 1991.
We hope for support of constructive efforts of the President of Ukraine and the Government of Ukraine to stabilise the situation in our country, including: constitutional reform and local government reform; social-economic reforms; establishing an inclusive social dialogue involving eastern and southern regions.