BRAMA, Aug 21, 2004, 9:00 am ET|
Address of H.E. Mykhailo B. Reznik, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, on the Occasion of the Independence Day of Ukraine
I am pleased to extend to you congratulations on the occasion of the Independence Day of Ukraine.
Thirteen years ago the Ukrainian people finally gained a long awaited independence. Although Ukraine with its great potential inherited the remnants of the Soviet management system and had to overcome great difficulties, such adversities only made us stronger. During this historically short period of time Ukraine succeeded as an independent country. Having overcome the economic crisis we reformed the national economy into market one which has been performing at one of the highest growth rates in Europe for the last four years. We managed to preserve peace and stability within the country and to occupy a prominent place at the world arena.
But the greatest asset of our country is its hard-working, sincere and generous people who made our dream of independence come true. And today I must mention the vital contribution of the Ukrainian community in the United States in making our Motherland known and respected throughout the world. Being a Ukrainian - is not determined by geography but by one's innermost orientation, not so much by formal identification as by a moral one. It is Ukraine that unites all of us wherever we live.
Ukraine has achieved significant results in many fields of social and economic life, including culture and science. However we realize that the main work lies ahead as there are still problems to be solved. In this modern interrelated world, the consolidation of achievements and the entering at a qualitatively new stage of the country's development are only possible with our friends' and partners' support. The special role belongs to the U.S.-Ukrainian cooperation which has proven to be an effective key in establishment of the sovereign Ukrainian State. However, the potential of cooperation between our nations is far from being fully realized and we consider its perspectives with optimism.
Dear friends, on this festive day we look into the future with confidence. The nation is entering a new phase of development when the talent and industriousness of our people can place Ukraine in rank with other prosperous and powerful democratic European countries. This historic opportunity should be realized.
Long live Ukraine!