"Human rights and freedoms are the highest social value, and we will do our best to steadily respect them, while remaining a generally recognized regional stability leader," President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine said in his statement on the occasion of the International Day of Human Rights, UKRINFORM reports.

He expressed confidence that Ukraine has no conflicts over human rights and freedoms, "Today, our state has no conflicts over human rights and freedoms. We differ by language, religion, culture and traditions, but we have the invaluable experience of peaceful coexistence, which will increase in a sovereign and independent Ukraine."

"I am deeply convinced that we will retain the system of protection of human rights and ensure decent conditions for all citizens," the President assured.

Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn also said on this occasion, "Ukraine has achieved significant results in the formation of real culture of human rights."

However, "despite the notable achievements in the field of human rights, the state of compliance with law still leaves much to be desired and requires attention from the government and the public. It is still needed to do a lot for people in this country to feel safe, free, masters of their own destiny," he said.

Less optimistic assessments of the situation with human rights and freedoms in Ukraine have been recently made by Ombudsman Nina Karpachova, who met with the Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine Jose Manuel Teixeira and ambassadors of 24 EU member states at their request.

Karpachova, speaking of the problems in this area, called among them poverty of the vast majority of the population, inadequate provision of the right to a fair trial, chronic non-fulfillment of Ukrainian court rulings, abuse of the right to arrest, violation of human rights in prisons, ignoring the rule of law.

Teixeira, in turn, said the united Europe holds the same position on problems in the field of human rights in Ukraine. He expressed particular concern about the rights of persons in custody, adding, the case of Tymoshenko and other senior ex-officials is just the tip of the iceberg of thousands of violations of citizens' rights.

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