Statement by the President of Ukraine on the occasion of the Day of Unity of Ukraine and 100th anniversary since the proclamation of Act of Reunification of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic

Dear compatriots!

A hundred years ago to this day, one of the most important events of the millennium history of Ukraine has been happened in this Maidan. It was here where the Act of Reunification of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic was proclaimed. Since that day and forever the independence of Ukraine means its autonomy and sovereignty.

A crowded Sofia Maidan confirmed the aspirations to independent and sovereign state. Thousands of people welcomed the proclamation of the Act of Reunification, military parade, blue and yellow flags, solemn atmosphere, high spirits and sanctification of the event in the St. Sofia Cathedral. Even a short-lived chronicles are enough to feel that it was a real national holiday. That way the history was made.

The Act of Reunification was the culmination of the Ukrainian revolution and liberation struggle at the beginning of the 20th century. It had been the result of the enormous people’s efforts, work and struggle, which lasted for centuries.

The Ukrainian revolution showed the available immense State capacity of Ukraine at that time, which was created by glorious but unjustly neglected writers, musicians, actors, doctors, priests. Their dedicated work turned the Statehood of Ukraine from the long-held memories into alive dream which came the political program. The historical background related to the downfall of the empire in the First World War provided Ukraine with the unique platform to realize its statehood.

Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost then. The major reason of that failure was the Ukrainian politicians of that time lacked cohesion. And there were no policymakers who could unite the people to combat the Moscow intervention. The loss of independence was the consequence of the loss of unification. Ukraine was divided by foreign states again and our people was under the darkness of statelessness with the serious crimes to be committed against it.

But a great hope stayed alive. At the end of the twentieth century a new chance appeared for Ukraine to gain its state independence and again we remembered about the unity as the main guarantee of independence.

On 21 January 1990 “alive chain” of millions of arms joined Lviv and gold-domed Kyiv to  symbolize that the time for restoration of the state independence had come. Our nation remembered its historical experience and used it. Thus an independent Ukraine appeared as the interrelated and independent one from Chernigiv to Crimea, fron Uzhorod to Lugansk.

Ukraine gained its independence but Kremlin definitely has no intention to accept it . And exactly from the time of proclamation of our independence there began attempts to restore the Russian empire. Taking into account our experience, we can definitely call these attempts as the beginning of “hybrid war” against Ukraine. The enemy used the Ukrainian politicians as the instrument who divided Ukraine into Russian and Ukrainian languages. They indifferently watched the Army was robbed, they burden our economy with the bonded gas contracts.

And in 2014 the time came. Ukraine confidently stepped onto the path of strengthening of its freedom, independence and the path to European Union and NATO. And to force us to abandon our choice, Moscow annexed Crimea and tried to break us into pieces to swallow us easily.  Again we faced a threat to loose our sovereignty and independence. However, this threat was averted by the cost of great sacrifice and efforts of Ukrainian people. In a rigid confrontation with the terrorists, Russian mercenaries of the regular Russian Army we together halted the enemy. Our slogan was “Unitary country”

Ukraine has grown stronger. Ukraine has become self-confident. On the Day of Unity we appeal to our countrymen living within the boundaries of Ukraine but in the temporarily occupied territories in Crimea, a part of Lugansk and Donetsk regions. We always remember about you. We work every day to bring closer a day of your liberation from hostile yoke.

We need to protect and strengthen our unity and sovereignty to achieve our goals. That’s why everyone should understand clearly that Ukraine is unitary state with the only state language as written in the Ukrainian Constitution. No federations and no special statuses. The only independent and united Ukraine!

And we know exactly what foundation of our house should be. We know that there is one more pillar, which is the base of our spiritual independence. We won’t be able to follow the chosen path if the Ukrainian community is divided. We must deprive the enemy of such instrument, weakening our statehood as dependence of church on Moscow and from the influence of the state-aggressor.

During Christmas days we received good news which had strengthen our belief and power. The establishment of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church illustrated once again a power of unity. We once again witnessed that there was nothing impossible for us when we were united. That seemed impossible for years, decades and centuries came true. It is time to continue building peaceful, flourishing and common Ukrainian home for all its residents.

Tomos is one more symbol of our independence as state as spiritual. I would like to remind you the words said after the signing of the tomos by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Ukrainian people and all the world through Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kyiv and all Ukraine ”Dear brother, on this beautiful and historic day Prince Volodymyr and Princess Olga, Yaroslav Mudriy and Volodymyr Monomakh together with the other descendants of the Ukrainian land are with us in this sacred heart of Orthodoxy. They are Kyiv, Ukrainian but not Moscow lords.

Dear Compatriots!

“Together by our own will since 1919”, under such slogan Ukraine celebrates today the 100th anniversary of the Act of Unity.

We are on the eve of the important people’s will. A hundred years of historic experience encourage us todraw the correct conclusions from the past. We aware about the unprecedented efforts made by Kremlin to interfere in the elections . And not only we but all the Europe and whole world face it. But there is no doubt in the wisdom of our people, in its unity on the way we have chosen to future.

Our way is a path to European Union, NATO, peace and welfare. Together, we saved our state, cemented its foundation and proved that we were able to win victory on our own way.

We restored Ukrainian army in unprecedented in the history period.  Today, the Military Forces of Ukraine are hundreds thousands well –trained and armed soldiers, upbrought on the Ukrainian military traditions.

Our European vector, despite the active diplomatic counteraction of Russian, made it possible for us to ratify the Agreement on association among the all state- members of European Union and to begin the comprehensive work of a free-trade zone with European Union. The EU has become the major trading partner of Ukraine

Next, it will be powerful investment, accelerating development of our economy, I will discuss this with the heads of the states and huge world companies in Davos.

The growth rate of the gross domestic product in 2018 is 3,4%.. It is not so much, but it is maximum rate over the  seven years. Inflation decreased to 9,8%. . It is too high but it is the lowest rate over the five years. International reserves increased to 21 milliards US dollars, It is maximum over the five years.

The establishment of the army, restoration of the economic development, association with the European Union, vise –free-regime, decentralization and Tomos; alignment with NATO and the EU are our consistent and systemic steps to our long-term strategy.

Europe is the high standards of life, and the NATO is our sustainable guarantee for security.

We are united and free. Ani empire will not be able to divide us. We go by our own way. And on this way, the army defends our land, our language protects our heart and belief protects our soul. E have all the reasons to look ahead confidently.