Ambassador Brink’s Remarks at the American Chamber of Commerce Independence Day Celebration

Jun 28, 2023

It’s a delight to be here to celebrate America’s Independence Day.

On a day that’s also a very important day for Ukrainians, Constitution Day, I wanted to just have some brief remarks to talk first about touching on the importance of our Independence Day for Americans, how the fight for freedom and independence is especially resonant here in Ukraine right now. I want to recognize Constitution Day and the foundation of independent Ukraine. And I had the great privilege and pleasure to listen to President Zelenskyy this morning as he spoke to the Rada to the government into the diplomatic corps about his inspiring vision for the future.

And then I want to discuss a little bit about how the United States is supporting that vision, Ukraine’s vision, your vision of how to build that foundation for a secure, prosperous, and democratic future. So first, as many of you know, Fourth of July, our Independence Day in America is very symbolic for the United States and commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Each year, on July 4 – which is my kids favorite holiday, or it competes with Halloween, but it’s a favorite one for us – we remember our fight to uphold some of our most cherished values, values that we share with Ukraine and its people – liberty, democracy, freedom. For Americans, July 4th is the day to gather with our families, friends, and loved ones.

It’s also a moment to reflect on the difficulties that our young nation faced in those first years, and how hard we have fought and continue to fight to create what our founding fathers called “a more perfect union.” For Americans, it’s a time to recall that freedom is not free. And that this fight for independence and for our values continues even to this day.

Now, today is also June 28, which marks another historic day, the anniversary of Ukraine’s constitution which was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament. We commemorate Ukraine’s Constitution Day and the words proudly proclaimed in Article One: Ukraine is sovereign and independent, and still sovereign and independent. We have witnessed how bravely you Ukrainians across the country and around the world have fought for freedom and independence, for the ability to choose your own alliances and your own future.

And that exact phrase was one that President Zelenskyy said just this morning. Like the patriots who fought for American independence and established our own democracy, I know Ukraine will never give up the fight for those principles, or the fight for your own choices. For your and your children’s and your children’s children’s futures.

We understand that fight – we understand that fight right here – and what is it sake intrinsically, and we continue to stand with Ukraine and Ukrainians as you continue to sacrifice for the enduring values of freedom.

Ukraine’s success, its strength, and its independence will in part be forged through this military battle that is unfolding right now to defend against the barbaric aggression that Russia has caused. But its independence will also be determined by Ukraine’s efforts, both in reinforcing a vibrant democracy and building a strong economy. The government of Ukraine has been leading that effort from the day of this full-fledged invasion. And as President Zelenskyy said today, in his remarks, he talked about an inspiring vision of transformation of this country. And it was a broad vision a big vision a big dream and idea to talk about transformation in the economic sphere, in the justice sphere, in the international sphere. A Ukraine that is sovereign, independent, and integrated into Europe is Ukraine’s vision for its future, and the United States supports this vision, not just because we share this deep commitment to the value of freedom, but also because it is in the vital national interest of the United States, of the American people, to have a strong, democratic, and prosperous partner in Europe.

The United States will continue to support Ukraine’s recovery. And this recovery will be fueled and led by all of you by the private sector. I know in remarks at the London Recovery Conference that was held just last week, your government and the President set out important priorities for building institutions and defending democracy in order to ensure that recovery can take place. These include things like financial transparency and banking system resilience, market liberalization and stimulating competition, guaranteeing equal and legal conditions for every economic entity.

The Ukrainian government has made meaningful strides in bolstering these institutions and the United States will continue to invest in Ukraine’s long-term efforts to strengthen good governance, transparency, and accountability. We will continue to support the justice sector reform and anti-corruption institutions and strengthen Ukraine civil society and its free press. Ukraine’s continued transformation, increasing transparency and competitiveness, stronger rule of law will be key to attracting even more private investment and to unleashing its potential today and in the future. A strong Ukraine that doesn’t just survive, but thrives, is the Ukraine that will have the strength to guarantee its own independence long into the future.

And in closing, the United States will continue to support Ukraine’s success and resilience through our direct budget support and by rallying partners across the world to stand strong with Ukraine. I’m so proud and honored to be here as part of that group of Americans – together with my team – that are trying every single day, every single minute to help Ukraine survive and thrive. The historic size and scope of the assistance the United States has provided, along with our allies and our partners, represents just how important Ukraine is to the Euro Atlantic community, to Europe, to America, to the world, and to our combined security and economic future. Our support for Ukraine is clear. And we are dedicated to the future that’s envisioned by Ukrainians.

We will continue to stand with Ukraine, and you, as you build a sovereign, democratic, and prosperous country that Ukraine has long demanded since independence, an independent country grounded in liberty, united by opportunity, and governed by laws that ensure equal opportunity for everyone.

And in the months and the years ahead, we will maintain our enduring commitment to Ukraine’s success – in the fight for the present, in the fight for the future. Happy Fourth of July to all the Americans, and congratulations on Constitution Day for all Ukrainians. The United States stands with Ukraine.