Secretary of State John Kerry on the Occasion of Ukraine’s National Day

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer my warmest congratulations to the Ukrainian people as you mark the anniversary of your independence on August 24.

The United States has been a steadfast partner and friend of Ukraine since your Parliament approved the Act of Independence on this date in 1991. For two dozen years, we have supported the efforts of your citizens to build a strong, stable, and democratic country. Despite huge challenges, you have made remarkable strides toward this goal. You have stood up to a despotic regime, a corrupt bureaucracy, and an aggressive neighbor—all in the name of a free, democratic, and prosperous future.

Your resilience has won you friends and admirers the world over, including the United States. America is particularly supportive of Ukraine’s firm commitment to internal reform. During my most recent visit to Kyiv in February, President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, and Foreign Minister Klimkin highlighted the efforts underway to root out corruption, reform the judicial and energy sectors, fix Ukraine’s financial system, and improve the business climate.

I am confident that the friendship between our two countries will continue to grow. Together, we will uphold the right of your citizens to choose your own path, free from external coercion. Together, we will seek an end to conflict and bloodshed through full implementation of the Minsk Protocols. And together, we will ensure that Ukraine is free to continue the important work of strengthening its political, economic, and cultural institutions.