U.S. Embassy in Kyiv marks Independence Day
Embassy of the United States
KYIV - United States Ambassador to Ukraine John E. Herbst and his wife, Nadezda Christoff Herbst, welcomed prominent Ukrainians from across Ukraine to their residence in Kyiv as part of local American Independence Day celebrations. The guest list included members of the current and former governments, Verkhovna Rada deputies, and leaders in business, education, media and the arts.
In his remarks Ambassador Herbst stated the rejection by Ukrainians of fraudulent results during last fall's election was a new beginning in Ukraine that some have described as a second independence day for Ukraine. His full remarks follow.
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I would like to thank you all for gathering here to celebrate the declaration of America's independence nearly 230 years ago.
Life is full of new beginnings and Ukraine this past seven months has just experienced another. The Ukrainian people's refusal to accept fraud in last year's elections led to a new vote and the presidency of the man who received the majority of votes in a basically honest election.
Some people have described this election as the real or the second independence day of Ukraine. This presupposes that the new government will be quite successful in implementing an agenda assuring both the freedom and the prosperity of the country.
I certainly hope that is true. But for that to happen, it is essential for the government to craft policies that truly promote economic growth, that ensure freedom of political action, that enhance unity throughout the country and that find a place for all Ukrainians, including those associated with and supportive of the previous government, who did not vote for the current administration.
That is quite a task, requiring wisdom, forgiveness and persistence. But it is one well within the capabilities of the people who made Kyiv over 1,000 years ago one of the shining lights of civilization.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, July 10, 2005, No. 28, Vol. LXXIII
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