President Viktor Yushchenko and President of Hungary László Sólyom on Wednesday attended a ceremony in Budapest to unveil a monument to Taras Shevchenko, President’s press office informs.

In his speech, Yushchenko said Shevchenko’s role in the formation of the Ukrainian nation and the development of the Ukrainian language was “exceptional.”

“For our nation, he is the person who has been teaching us freedom and love for the motherland over the past two centuries,” he said, adding that it was important to teach Ukraine’s young to respect the Great Kobzar. “I am convinced that this monument will serve this mission.”

The President thanked the Government of Hungary and Budapest’s authorities for helping erect the monument, describing their respect for Taras Shevchenko as “the best compliment for the Ukrainian people.” “This is a token of friendship, neighborly relationship and love between Ukraine and Hungary.”

President Sólyom praised Hungary’s Ukrainian community for their patriotism. “This monument should become a symbol of our friendship,” he said.

The two leaders laid flowers at the monument and then listened to Shevchenko’s poem My Thoughts, My Thoughts.


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