President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday hosted a reception in Kyiv’s Ukrayina Palace to honor the participants of the 16th session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is being held in Kyiv, as President’s press office informs.

In his speech, Yushchenko thanked them for the attention to Ukrainian developments. “The country is walking normally. Democracy has never been easy,” he said. “I want you to take one message from Ukraine after the session: there are no circumstances that can force Ukraine to leave its democratic path.”

The President said his country would resolve all the challenges it faces through “exceptionally democratic” means, praising the importance of parliamentary cooperation in the OSCE region. “You are doing a unique and important job, which is often underestimated, but it is the sole way to listen to one another, reach agreements and make progress together.”

The President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Goran Lennmarker, commended Ukraine’s democratic achievements. “Ukraine is a fully European state and plays a very important role on our continent,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s gains would have a “decisive impact” on the region. “So we fully support Ukraine on its path to democracy.”

Lennmarker said parliamentarians from over sixty countries had arrived in Kyiv for the 4-day session and expressed hopes they would have “intensive debates” on many important issues.

Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha, Security Council Chairman Ivan Plyushch and Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk attended the reception.


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