Accompanied by Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, Premier Yuriy Yekhanurov, Secretariat Chief-of-Staff Oleh Rybachuk, First Deputy Chief-of-Staff Ivan Vasyunyk, NSDCU Secretary Anatoly Kinakh, Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko, Kyiv Governor Evhen Zhovtyak, ministers and political leaders, President Victor Yushchenko took part in a ceremony to lay flowers at the Shevchenko and Grushevsky monuments, yesterday, January 22.
On January 22, 1919, the People’s Republic of Ukraine and the People’s Republic of Western Ukraine, two sovereign Ukrainian states, became one country. The Act of Reunion was proclaimed in Sophia Square in Kyiv. This reunion has been since remembered by the people and marked as national holiday.
Victor Yushchenko took part in a ceremony to decorate prominent Ukrainians, who contributed to the development of Ukraine and promoted its fame worldwide, with state orders.
The President congratulated his fellow citizens on Reunion Day. In his speech, the Head of State emphasized the significance of this holiday for each Ukrainian.
“Each time I enter this hall, I feel particularly responsible for Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood and Ukrainian nation,” he said and added that this day “is a really important date of the Ukrainian calendar.”
Yushchenko called on all political forces to ensure political stability during this year’s campaign.
“Dear politicians, an election is an ordinary thing, and it is not your business, for its voters’ business,” he said. “I urge all of you on this sacred day to look at certain things, which have recently provoked arguments, anew.”
The President also expressed confidence that Ukraine should have legitimate government and constitutional court until March 26. Yushchenko noted that, as President, he would do his best to hold democratic parliamentary elections in Ukraine and said he was going to sign a relevant order.
The President noted that he wanted today’s greetings by political leaders to contain the key word unity.
“If our political elite can say how to unite the nation, they will find the victorious key,” he asserted.
Yushchenko also said all challenges had, in fact, indicated our fight for independence in the past years and noted that it was vital to teach Ukrainians to “colossally respect such values as Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.” He pledged to guarantee these values and mercilessly respond to any attempt of separatism. He also claimed that it was incumbent on all branches of government to establish a dialogue.
“I can come to parliament when I am sure that our dialogue can yield results,” he said.
Then the Head of State recited a few lines from the Fourth Decree signed on January 22, 1919 and told those present that copies of this historic document would be sent to all regions of Ukraine. He also recalled a few people who had helped Ukraine gain independence and awarded Vasyl Stus (posthumously), Ihor Yukhnovsky, Oleksandr Sylyn, Nina Matviyenko, Mykhailo Horyan and Bohdan Horyan with state orders.
Following the ceremony, Yushchenko visited an exhibition of archived documents at the Teacher’s House.
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