Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organisations in Vienna, made opening remarks at Ukraine’s Independence Day reception organized by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Austria together with the Permanent Mission
The remarks are provided below:
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to sincerely thank all of you for joining us today to mark the 26th Ukraine’s Independence Day. More than a quarter of a century ago the communist totalitarian regime fell, and Ukraine re-established itself as a sovereign nation-state guided in its development by the principles of respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law and aiming to re-unite within the European family of nations.
Sadly, it is now the fourth consecutive year that the Ukrainian nation marks its Independence Day under conditions of the ongoing external aggression mounted by the Russian Federation to deny the freedom and choice made by the Ukrainian people. We are proud of the stoicism and heroism of the Ukrainian military and ordinary people who stopped the advance of the Russian troops, we are grateful for the solidarity and unity of the international community in condemning Russia’s aggression and taking practical measures to make Russia return to the tenets of international law, pull out from Donbas and reverse the attempted annexation of Crimea.
There must be no mistake: Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an attack on the values and principles which underpin European security and are enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act. It is an attack on the very foundation of peace and security in Europe which makes it so important to continue countering it with unwavering firmness and unity of purpose, including within the remits of international organizations functioning in Vienna.
Despite aggression, Ukraine has been making significant strides in reforming the country. Independent observers conclude that more profound reforms have been done in the past three years, than in the previous twenty years. The economy has been stabilized and is on the rise with resumed GDP growth, decisive transparency and anti-corruption measures are implemented. We strengthened the army and security forces and vigorously pursue the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Full enactment of Ukraine – EU Association Agreement, visa-free regime with the EU – those were landmark steps in this direction. The diplomatic, political and economic support of the international community you represent has been of great significance in this difficult time and we are grateful for it.
Ukraine is interested to further foster our forward-looking co-operation in the promotion of peace, prosperity and well-being of our nations.
In conclusion I again thank you for being with us tonight and wish all a very enjoyable evening.