Thursday, August 24, 2006
Ukraine celebrates its independence day today, 15 years after it broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Ukrainian president Victor Yuschenko told a crowd at an event to mark the occasion: "By the will of the people, our country's course toward membership in the European Union and NATO will be carried through ... and most importantly, I reiterate and guarantee that Ukraine's democratic, liberal, and national choice is irreversible and unconditional."
Yuschenko told the press yesterday that he would insist on the rehabilitation of those who raised the Ukrainian flag in Ternopil in 1973.
The Russian president Vladimir Putin sent a message of congratulations to his Ukrainian counterpart and offered reassurances about Russo-Ukrainian relations. His note to Yuschenko said: "I am convinced that on the basis of mutual understanding and compromise on unresolved issues we can reach the level of true strategic partnership, a fundamental principle recorded in the treaty of friendship, cooperation and partnership."
== Sources ==
"President honors those who heroically hoisted Ukraine's flag" — Unian, August 23, 2006 "Russia, Ukraine can achieve partnership through compromise - Putin" — Interfax, August 23, 2006 "Ukraine Marks National Independence Day" — Radio Free Liberty, August 23, 2006