Ivan Plyushch, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, has made a statement on the eve of the Russian Federation’s official holiday, Russia Day.

“In 1990, the Soviet Union’s peoples chose to gain sovereignty, promote democracy and respect the choice of one another. Russia played a pivotal role in this process. It declared sovereignty and elected its first president in June 1990. … This was a worrying period of decision-making which enabled the former Soviet republics to build their own states,” he said, according to President's press office.

Ukraine’s relations with Russia were exemplary during those events, whose anniversary is marked as Russia’s state holiday, he said.

“Being committed to developing our mutual friendship and strategic partnership, Ukraine and Russia have always resolved their bilateral problems through constructive negotiations and compromise.”

[Thus] it was not accidental that democrats from Ukraine and Russia – among them G. Starovoytova, A. Sobchak, A. Sakharov, D. Pavlychko, I. Drach, M. Rudenko and others – were good friends and shared the same opinion on many developments, he said.

“It is important to preserve such an approach and pass it on to a new generation of politicians who determine and will determine the course of both countries in the future.”

Plyushch said Ukraine and Russia “have no problems in their relationship which they cannot resolve” but added that “the ambitions and egoistic intentions of certain politicians and their supporters, who seek notoriety or want to get political dividends, impede compromise.”

Plyushch believes the concealment of such facts leads to misunderstanding. One of its results is the practice to bar some Ukrainian citizens from entering Russia. Plyushch described it as a “means of political pressure.”

“We are upset that certain politicians and political groups in the Russian Federation put forth such initiatives and try to sow discord amongUkrainians and Russians,” he said.

Plyushch said such there must be a "serious response" to such actions, creating an impression that Russian officials question Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

He said the best way to respondto such incidents was to “activate conscious efforts of both countries.” He suggested formulating criteria to assess political statements that might harm the interests of both countries and agreeing on how to respond to such statements.

“This issue could be resolved by a special group of Ukrainian and Russian experts. They should offer a response in the spirit of equality and strategic partnership between our nations.”


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