MINSK, 10 September (BelTA) - Ukraine is grateful to Belarus for hosting the peace talks, Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus Igor Kizim said at an official event on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of Ukraine's independence, BelTA learned.
“For every nation, the Independence Day is not only the birthday of the state. It is the day when the results are traditionally summed up and plans for the future are formulated. This is the day when we recall every generation, thanks to whom we have our own state. We recall the heroes who gave their lives for its freedom,” the head of the Ukrainian diplomatic mission stressed.
The ambassador noted that the year has not been an easy one for Ukraine, full of challenges. “It was the year when the power has undergone almost total reboot. As a result of the presidential and parliamentary elections, a new political force led by President Volodymir Zelensky came to power in Ukraine with 3% of the vote while his party The Servant of the People formed the parliamentary majority on its own, which happened for the first time in the history of Ukraine's independence,” Igor Kizim said.
According to him, during the first session on 29 August the new parliament set up the new government, passed the important laws, which the society had long waited for, including the law to remove parliamentary immunity. This shows that the Ukrainian government is serious about accelerating economic and social reforms and fighting against corruption. Igor Kizim also highlighted the succession of Ukraine's foreign policy, which remains unchanged: the course towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
According to the ambassador, Ukraine stays committed to the Minsk agreements as one of the efficient mechanisms to restore peace in Donbass. He expressed the words of gratitude to the Belarusian authorities for hosting the Trilateral Contact Group to settle the situation in Donbass, “which remains the key mechanism in searching for ways to bring peace back to the eastern Ukraine”.
Igor Kizim stressed the importance of developing good neighborly relations with Belarus as one of the main priorities of Ukraine's foreign policy, which Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized in the recent telephone conversation with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The ambassador stated that the Belarusian-Ukrainian trade and economic relations have been rapidly developing for the last three years. Belarus remains Ukraine's second biggest trading partner in the CIS and fourth worldwide.
“The telephone conversation between the two presidents was one of the stages to prepare for their meeting at the Second Forum of Regions of Ukraine and Belarus in early October. This forum will become the largest event of the year for bilateral political, trade and economic ties and, I am confident, a good opportunity to establish strong and friendly relations between Volodymyr Zelensky and Aleksandr Lukashenko,” the Ukrainian ambassador said.
In turn, Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko said that the Belarusian-Ukrainian relations have been steadily developing. The First Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine was a success last year. In 2019, the second edition of the event is scheduled to take place in Zhitomir. The vice premier expressed confidence in further successful development of bilateral relations.