Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych congratulated journalists on their professional holiday, celebrated on Sunday, June 6.

In his congratulations, posted on the official web-site of the head of state, he said "I highly appreciate your work, aiming at establishing freedom of speech and developing information space in Ukraine. Your work builds a new quality of relations between government and society, which is based on the principles of responsibility and openness".

The President stressed that a strong independent country is impossible without a free press. "This is a necessary condition for the development of civil society and the formation of a responsible power".

"As president I will always guard a free press and freedom of speech in Ukraine," Yanukovych assured, UKRINFORM reported.

In turn, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov noted that "the history of an independent Ukraine is inseparably linked with the development of national journalism. Freedom of speech and independent media have become indispensable indicators of democratic transition", Azarov said.

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