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

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 23, 2016

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer my warmest congratulations to the people of Ukraine as you observe the 25th anniversary of your independence on August 24.

During my most recent visit to Kyiv, I was deeply impressed by all you have accomplished in the more than two years since the Revolution of Dignity. Despite Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and its illegal occupation of Crimea, you have worked steadily to build stronger and more effective political, economic, and cultural institutions. These efforts have required perseverance and sacrifice, for which I applaud you.

Today we mark not just a quarter-century of your independence, but also of the fruitful partnership between our nations based on our shared commitment to freedom and the rule of law. The United States will stand by you as you continue to strengthen your democracy. With our European partners, we will also press for full implementation of the Minsk agreements to end Russian aggression in Donbas and return the international border to Ukrainian control. We remain steadfast in our refusal to recognize Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea.

Throughout the past quarter century, the American people have admired the depth of your devotion to liberty and the resilience you have shown in the face of grave challenges. On this special day, we salute you as friends, and wish you a peaceful, prosperous, and productive year to come.