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Press Release

President Kuchma Takes Oath of Office

November 30, 1999

Photo: UNIAN - Brama - Gateway Ukraine website Leonid Kuchma takes oath, Nov. 30, 1999

President Leonid Kuchma took the oath of office during an inauguration ceremony held at the Ukraina Palace in Kyiv on November 30.

The ceremony was attended by members of the Ukrainian parliament, Ukrainian government officials, regional leaders, and heads of public and religious organizations as well as by official representatives of several countries and Kyiv-based foreign diplomats.

The ceremony was opened by Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko, who stressed the importance of the fact that Mr. Kuchma was reelected for a second term. According to him, members of Parliament are confident that Mr. Kuchma will devote his second term to developing the economy, improving the lives of Ukrainians, strengthening the nation's security, protecting and developing democracy, political and socioeconomic rights and freedom of Ukrainian citizens, and building a country that will be open to the entire world and respected in the international community.

Mr. Kuchma was sworn in by Constitutional Court President Viktor Skomorokh.

Mr. Kuchma pledged to protect Ukraine's sovereignty and independence, work for the prosperity of Ukraine and its people, protect the rights and freedom of Ukrainian citizens, observe the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, perform his duties in the interest of all Ukrainians, and raise Ukraine's international image.

Addressing the people of Ukraine, Mr. Kuchma said that by reelecting him, the people of Ukraine expressed their wishes for a clear, predictable, and decent future. He described his victory in the elections as a victory for Ukraine and the entire Europe.

Mr. Kuchma said that his inauguration crowned for Ukraine the list major events of the 20th century, which was marked by high points of human spirit and reason as well as by the deep low points of barbarism. According to him, the century brought Ukraine unprecedented trials and the unforgettable rebirth of Ukraine's nationhood. He added that the century witnessed Ukraine's transformation from a Soviet republic to full independence, international recognition, and a rise to the zenith of European and world politics.

Mr. Kuchma thanked the local and international election observers, journalists, and all the people that facilitated a "free and democratic expression of the will of the Ukrainian people."

Mr. Kuchma stressed that European integration and strategic partnerships with Russia and the United States are the three main aspects of Ukraine's foreign policy. According to him, Ukraine's integration into the European Union is a matter for the future while restoration of Ukraine's reputation in the Council of Europe is an urgent matter.

According to Mr. Kuchma, stable relations between Ukraine and Russia are very important to the stability of the entire Europe. He said that Ukraine would deepen its strategic cooperation with the United States, which has provided invaluable political, financial, economic, and technical assistance to Ukraine since independence.

Mr. Kuchma called for continuation of close cooperation with Ukraine's neighbors - Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Turkey - as well as with CIS member-countries and the Baltic states. He also said that Ukraine hopes for close cooperation with France, Germany, Italy, Japan and all members of the European Union. He said that ties would be strengthened with Canada, China, India, Israel, Korea, Pakistan, and other countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as with international organizations, particularly the United Nations, the OSCE, the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and NATO.

Immediately after the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Kuchma laid flowers at monuments to Taras Shevchenko and Mykhailo Hrushevskyi. He also laid a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Soldier and honored the memory of the soldiers that were killed during World War II.

Mr. Kuchma later attended a religious ceremony at the Sofiyskyi Cathedral. Mr. Kuchma hosted a dinner in honor of his foreign guests. He also held meetings with the heads of foreign governments and countries.

For more information, please contact:
Taras Malyshevskyi, Press Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine
310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Tel. (613) 230-2961, fax (613) 230-2400,