President Yanukovych highlights Ukraine's results in 2013, outlines plans for 2014
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has congratulated Ukrainians on the New Year holiday, highlighted the results of 2013 and outlined plans for 2014.
Speaking in a televised address to the nation in the early hours of January 1, Yanukovych said he believes that 2013 was a year of progress for Ukrainians.
"It is a difficult, probably the most difficult year in the history of independent Ukraine. It was the year of achievements and challenges, frustrations and new hopes. In the long run, 2013 became a year of progress for us. Through maidans [protest rallies on central squares in big cities] and national panel discussions, political arguments and sincere dialogue we are moving the way of mutual understanding and national consolidation," he said.
"I am confident that economic troubles and political discord of the past year have only tempered us. It is our experience, our lessons and our common historical examinations. In 2013, despite all challenges, we have decently passed the examination of our state maturity," he said.
Focusing on its national interests, Ukraine continues moving the way of building the European Ukraine, the way of deep economic modernization and gradual improvement of the quality of people's life.
"Gradual policy of social justice based on presidential social initiatives is a guarantee of irreversibility of this path," Yanukovych said.
Ukraine continues working over the Association Agreement with the European Union, the country has restored the relations of friendship and brotherhood with Russia, and has made a true breakthrough in the relations with China.
"We ensure an efficient balance between East and West without giving up our national interests. These steps give us a real opportunity to look ahead confidently preserving high social standards and directing the necessary resources at the accelerated development of competitive national production in 2014," Yanukovych said.
"I believe that we have enough wisdom and experience, love and kindness to leave the distrust and conflicts in the past and move the way of dialogue and understanding. Irrespective of the political affiliation, Ukrainians have demonstrated to each other and to the whole world their common responsibility for the destiny of the country," he said.
The president's address to the nation was broadcast from the territory of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery and its main Cathedral of the Assumption.