Dear Mr Minister! Excellencies! Dear guests and friends! Ladies and gentlemen! Let me thank everyone who came today to the wonderful garden of the Serena Dushanbe Hotel to share this holiday with us.
Yesterday, Ukraine celebrated the 26th anniversary of its State Independence.
For a state with a thousand-year history, which Ukraine is, this is a rather short period.
However, it is based on a long tradition of European statehood, laid back in the Kyivan Rus.
On the traditions of constitutionalism, laid down in the days of Hetman Pylyp Orlyk, author of the first European constitution.
Behind us is the historical experience of the Ukrainian revolution of 1917-21 and the Ukrainian People's Republic, which united Ukrainian lands and laid the foundations of modern Ukrainian diplomacy.
Behind us is the invaluable contribution of the Ukrainian people to victory over the Nazis in World War II, which allowed Ukraine to become one of the founding states of the United Nations Organization.
The past 26 years of the recent history of Ukraine allowed not only to realize the everlasting will of Ukrainians for state independence, but also to finally determine the vector of the nation's development.
The Revolution of Dignity in 2013 made irreversible the process of Ukraine’s development as a democratic, rule-of-law European state, putting a full stop in the collapse story of the last world empire.
Today's achievements of Ukraine in such fields as aircraft construction, rocket engineering, energy, and other high-tech industries speak for themselves.
And the signing of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, establishment of a free trade zone with the European Union, and granting of visa-free regime to Ukrainians confirmed Ukraine's rightful place in the European family of nations.
Ladies and gentlemen!
Challenges that Ukraine is undergoing in recent years have consolidated the Ukrainian nation. We are proud of the heroism of Ukrainians protecting the territorial integrity of our country from an external aggressor.
May I ask to observe a minute of silence in memory of heroes who died defending Ukrainian Donbas against foreign invaders, of all fighters for freedom and independence of Ukraine (minute of silence).
We are grateful to those members of the world community who by applying the sanctions are consistently compelling the aggressor to return the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Ukraine.
The city, defending which from the Nazis my grandfather, the commissar of the artillery regiment Pavlo Provornyi heroically died in 1942.
Looking back, one can only be horrified at the scale of crimes committed against humanity in the twentieth century. The two greatest murderers of all times and peoples - Hitler and Stalin - have deprived of lives millions.
In the present century, their followers are conducting hybrid wars, occupying sovereign territories, grossly violating human rights, undermining the post-war system of international security.
I would like to especially acknowledge the tragic fate of the indigenous people of the Crimea - Crimean Tatars, who survived Stalin's deportation, and now superseded by the occupiers from their historical homeland.
I am convinced that the newly made invaders will suffer the sad fate of their predecessors of the last century, and the rule of law over time would not pass today's dictatorships.
2017 is not only the year of the 26th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, but also the year of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Tajikistan.
For today, our time-tested friendship, rooted in the distant past, remains an example of equal and mutually beneficial partnership relations.
Warm congratulatory messages that our leaders exchanged on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries confirmed the high level of mutual understanding and support.
Ukraine highly values the existing level of interaction with Tajikistan within the framework of international organizations on issues that are topical for both sides.
On our agenda we have important events - preparation of the next meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation, holding the Days of Culture of Tajikistan in Ukraine.
I am pleased to note that the strategically important for Tajikistan hydropower sphere remains the basic field of our bilateral cooperation, and there are good prospects ahead.
Some positive trends have also emerged in bilateral trade, which in five months of this year has increased by more than 1.5 times in comparison with the similar previous period.
In two weeks Tajikistan will celebrate the 26th anniversary of its independence. During this period, your country has achieved impressive successes, consistently pursuing an open door policy.
A special role in the implementation of plans for the future belongs to talented Tajik youth, to which current year 2017 is dedicated.
I would like to wish the friendly Tajikistan continued success in the implementation of all the charted plans, and to the brotherly Tajik people – well-being and prosperity.
Thank you for your attention.