Press statement on Ukraine’s national day
Following is the full text of the press statement by U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson released on August 24 for Ukraine’s Independence Day.
On behalf of the government of the United States of America, best wishes to all Ukrainians on your national day.
As I said in Kyiv last month, we deeply value the friendship we have developed over 25 years of diplomatic relations. We commend your persistence in the face of great challenges, including the Russia-led conflict in Donbas and Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea. Despite the hardships you have endured, the people of Ukraine have shown a fierce determination to create economic opportunities, fight corruption and strengthen their democratic institutions.
The United States is proud to have been a partner in Ukraine’s journey, and we remain steadfast in our support for your sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy. May the coming year bring peace, prosperity and progress to the people of Ukraine.
Statement on 26th anniversary of independence
Below is the text of the Ukrainian World Congress statement on the 26th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine, which was released on August 23.
August 24 is the greatest national holiday as Ukrainians throughout the world unite in spirit to commemorate the re-establishment of the Ukrainian state as proclaimed on August 24, 1991.
This day in the history of the Ukrainian nation was the greatest gift for the Ukrainian people which will always be marked as the culmination of the efforts of many generations of Ukrainians for the right to live freely on their own land, prosper in their own state, speak their native language and freely practice their religion.
In 2017 Ukrainians can continue to take pride in their accomplishments in implementing a national reform agenda, building strong relations with the international community, stabilizing the national economy, globally promoting Ukraine’s economic viability and further integrating Ukraine into the Euro-Atlantic community.
Most recently, we have witnessed two events of historical significance, specifically the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which will fully come into effect on 1 September 1, 2017, and the implementation of a visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens traveling to certain European states.
However, the successes of the Ukrainian people remain overshadowed by the relentless aggression of the Russian Federation, which continues to challenge the territorial integrity of Ukraine and, with it, peace and stability in the world.
On this Independence Day, we join in prayer to honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for Ukraine’s independence, and keep in our thoughts the men and women who continue to stand on the frontlines to protect Ukraine’s borders.
May the Ukrainian flag wave freely in every corner of the world, symbolizing the unity in purpose with which the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine will be irrevocably entrenched.
“On the occasion of the 26th anniversary of Ukrainian Independence Day, I extend greetings to the hierarchs and clergy of Ukrainian Churches, president of Ukraine, prime minister of Ukraine, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, all the brave men and women fighting for Ukraine’s independence, UWC member organizations and Ukrainians worldwide,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
Greetings on Ukraine’s Independence Day
The following greetings on Ukrainian Independence Day were received from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress on August 24.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, its member organizations, provincial councils and local branches extend warm greetings to the Ukrainian Canadian community and all those celebrating the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.
On August 24, 1991, Ukraine’s Parliament, exercising the inviolable right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination, declared Ukraine an independent, indivisible, democratic state.
Generations of Ukrainian patriots struggled throughout the centuries to realize the right of the Ukrainian people to live in liberty and choose their common destiny. Today, the Ukrainian people must again, at great cost, defend this sacred right. Russia wages war against Ukraine and seeks again, through brutal aggression, to subjugate Ukraine to the scourge of Russian imperialism.
The people of Ukraine have answered the call to defend their homeland and their freedom with valor and honor. And they will be victorious in their battle, for freedom always triumphs over tyranny, and justice always triumphs over evil.
Today, we pay tribute to the memory of the brave patriots who have given their lives for Ukraine’s freedom. We honor the valiant soldiers who fight today under the blue and yellow banner defending that freedom. And we pray that peace soon return to Ukraine.
Reaffirmation of Ukraine’s sovereignty
Sen.Raynell Andreychuk of Canada on August 24 marked Ukrainian Independence Day by reiterating calls for Russia to release political prisoners and reinstate the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Following is the text of her statement.
Twenty-six years ago, the people of Ukraine declared their independence with Parliament’s adoption of the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. This occasion marks an opportunity to acknowledge the commitment of the Ukrainian people, and the support of the Ukrainian diaspora, in building a free and independent Ukraine.
As we mark this occasion, we regrettably note the ongoing illegal actions of Russia in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula.
The arrest and detention of numerous political prisoners, including Oleh Sentsov and Ruslan Zeitullayev, illustrates a grave violation of personal freedoms as well as the ongoing persecution of Ukrainians and Ukrainian ethnic minorities by the Kremlin.
Today we reaffirm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and call for the immediate release of all Ukrainians illegally detained by Russia.