by the President of Ukraine H.E. Mr. Victor Yushchenko on the occasion of Ukraine's Reunion Day
(22 January 2007)
My fellow citizens,
I would like to offer my best wishes to all of you for today’s Reunion Day.
Eighty-eight years ago, the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic reunited. This event initiated Ukraine’s revival.
Proclaimed in Kyiv’s St. Sophia Square, the will of the people led us to independence in 1991.
This day unites Ukraine: Kyiv and Lviv, Sevastopol and Uzhgorod, Donetsk and Poltava, Kharkiv and Lutsk, hundreds of cities and towns, millions of people, all Ukrainian lands, coasts and river banks.
If we believe in the strong Ukraine, unity must become a part of our lives and hearts. Unity is the cornerstone of Ukraine’s existence.
We were made to believe in myths that Ukraine is disunited. They deepened our differences but no regional differences – imaginary or natural – can force us to deny obvious facts.
Ukraine’s independence is a result of the choice made by the Ukrainian nation. We are developing as a stable political European country despite all the disturbances.
We have lived through many challenges over the years of independence: the Crimean problem in 1992, the presidential elections in 1994, the passage of the Constitution in 1996, the revolution in 2004 and the first challenges under the new constitution.
However, we preserved our integrity. We suppressed separatism. It means we have a powerful resource of unity. It helps us move forward. More than two thirds of Ukraine’s population say they are patriots.
There is no algebraic formula to measure patriotism. There are common hopes. Unity is a practical category. It is our action plan for the future. I think it has three components.
I will work to ensure that the government, both central and regional, is effective and democratic. I know we will achieve results. Constitutional amendments ensuring Ukraine’s democracy, balancing powers and preventing authoritarianism will be passed to become a part of Ukraine’s revised constitution. This is my principal position.
As far as our everyday reality is concerned, unity means high living standards and liberal economic conditions to achieve prosperity. In this context, I see unity as nationwide projects to build roads, develop transportation infrastructure and boost tourism, things that help our citizens travel and meet freely and comfortably.
Speaking about the social aspect of this word, I see unity as formulation of humanitarian and information policies, modern and secure. It means we should be patriotic, respect our language, develop and respect languages spoken by Ukraine's national minorities and think Ukrainian.
There are no problems we cannot resolve in Ukraine. If not today, we will resolve them later.
Our people understand that language, religious or historical collisions cannot impede Ukraine’s progress. Our politicians must unite the people and create conditions encouraging development.
I want you to have no doubts that the President has the will to achieve these goals.
I wish you a happy Reunion Day.
We are evolving as a united political nation, formed by Ukrainians and enriched by all those living in Ukraine and wishing it good, Russians, Crimean Tatars, Poles, Bulgarians, Jews, Hungarians and Gypsies.
I wish you happiness, good and success.
We are together. We are the big Ukrainian nation.