22 years seems to be a very short period of time in historical terms. But for Ukraine these two decades marked the beginning of modern history.
Ukrainians stood as one united people, a single state, with single collective will to independent development. Over the years Ukrainians went through a difficult path from a totalitarian Soviet state system, through the "wild capitalism", economic crises and social turmoil to freedom, human dignity, democracy and open economy, recognition and respect in today's globalized world.
Our Nation completed this journey with confidence, without social upheavals and conflicts. I am convinced that we will continue our journey in the same manner. Today we set the ambitious goals of a comprehensive modernization and sustainable development of our country. And no matter who would want to stop us on this path, he will not succeed.
Indeed, the world of the 21st century has become even more complex and diverse.
Today world is witnessing new crises and turmoil that seemed impossible in late 20th century.The end of "hot" and "cold" wars of the last century, the destruction of totalitarian systems, the Romanticism of national revival and dynamic development of the world economy - all of this indicated the possibility of a new era beginning - the era of humanism and global sustainable development. But the history exposed immaturity of the mankind, arrogance of politicians and intellectuals.
At the same time, these new crises are a challenge for all, without exception, nations and states, a test for independence, wisdom, and will to achieve new transformations and developments. In today's world independence, the ability to solve problems and achieve goals is a sign of mature, internally consolidated and spiritually rich society. These are the qualities inherent in the Ukrainian people and the current state of Ukraine.
Ukrainians are not shutting ourselves out of the world, do not paint it in black and white colors, we are consistent in our policy of harmonious peace and dialogue. Independence has become for our State a real teacher in making strategic decisions and determining the paths of our development based primarily on our own resources. Ukraine strives to build equal relations and are willing to seek compromises that strengthen stability and bring prosperity to us and to all our neighbors.
In the early years of independence we laid the foundations of statehood and free enterprise. The main goal of the modernization policy is the development of a modern market economy, democratic polity and enlightened, free and self-governing civil society. Ukraine is now implementing the most difficult first stage of modernization associated with systemic reform of the market infrastructure and social services, the creation of conditions for accelerated development of the real sector of our economy, the strengthening of the competitiveness of both traditional and new industries. Ukraine completes a large-scale privatization. Not the state, but private initiatives and competition drive the allocation of resources between the growth points of our economy. State creates macro-stimuli for development and investment activity through its policies and implementation of national projects. A stable hryvnia lays the foundation for long-term investment and guarantees a fair level of remuneration.
The successful EURO-2012 confirmed the need for modernization of the entire national infrastructure. Construction and reconstruction of highways, railways, sea and river ports, airports remains a priority of state policy.
Measures of diversification of energy supply, energy efficiency technologies, increasing the share of non-conventional and alternative fuel resources are called to strengthen our "energy sovereignty."
New policy to encourage employment and create favorable conditions for the introduction of high technology gradually paves the way to success for the brave and educated young Ukrainians. The national systems of health care, social security, education and culture are adapted to the requirements of the European standards of service quality, target orientation and efficient use of funds.
The next stage of modernization will include the development of "knowledge society", the creation of high-tech knowledge-based economy, strengthening of a single national humanitarian space.
Ukraine, having gone through the crucible of transformation, continues to develop as a country of high culture, a strong industrial potential, a fair and efficient system of social protection and extensive global partnership network. The positive experience of leading world countries with high standards of political, economic and social self-organization helps our Country in implementing this modernization program.
Therefore, Ukraine’s association with the EU has become an important impetus for further formation of the modern European state.
At the same time, Ukraine maintain and continue to deepen our relationship and integration processes with Russia, the Eurasian community, other world leaders and new centers of economic development. The faith in a human being, its will to live, its freedom, its salvation and a high calling forms the core of the independence concept.
This faith has been living in our nation for over a thousand years and is revived over and over again by the eternal Christian values and God's commandments. This faith has united our population in one Ukrainian nation and did not allow us to dissolve and assimilate despite centuries of separation and enslavement. This faith gave our grandfathers and fathers strength to survive the horrors of wars and totalitarianism.
This year, Ukraine celebrates memorable events: the 80th anniversary of the Holodomor and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Ukrainian lands from fascist invaders.
It is symbolic that the holiday of the 1025th anniversary of the Christianization of Kievan Rus’, the celebration of this great spiritual choice coincided with the anniversary of the tragic pages of our history.
It is no exaggeration to say that due to inherent Christian qualities of our nation - enduring faith, patience and mercy - we managed to survive the most difficult ordeals of the past.
Ukraine have enough faith and patience to adequately respond to the challenges and to build a modern, developed Ukraine - an heir to Kievan Rus’, a strong European power of the 21 century!