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Address by H.E. Volodymyr Khandogiy, Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada
at the Official Opening of Manitoba-Ukraine Secretariat

Winnipeg, April 13, 1999

Dear Mr. Premier, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

Frankly speaking, it was only last week that I received this outstanding and pleasant news: the opening of Manitoba-Ukraine Secretariat at the Government of Manitoba.

On this occasion, I would like to extend my deep gratitude to Premier Filmon, the Government of Manitoba and everybody involved in the realisation of this good initiative.

The decision vividly reflects the great importance that Manitoba Government attaches to the development of relations with Ukraine, a country with a tremendous potential and a land of the ancestors for many citizens of Manitoba.

I am sure that the Secretariat officials together with their partners in Ukraine, working in close cooperation with Ukrainian Embassy and the organisations of Ukrainian Canadians, will help intensify our trade and economic as well as humanitarian cooperation and bring Ukraine-Manitoba relations to new success stories and significant achievements.

Today, we are not starting from scratch: a lot of good work has already been done. There was a series of visits at the high level, including the visits to Manitoba by President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma in 1994 and by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hennadiy Udovenko in 1997, and to Ukraine by Premier Gary Filmon in 1997 and Minister of Rural Development Len Derkach in 1996.

The signing in 1997 of the Memorandum on Ukraine-Manitoba Cooperation has laid a good foundation upon which we are to continue building in order to promote the progress in the many sectors of interest our relations. The Canada-Ukraine Business Initiative ’97 where Manitoba has made a significant contribution has become a positive experience bringing together many government officials and businesses of both countries. Several Manitoba companies are actively working in Ukraine.

I sincerely hope that the Secretariat the inauguration of which I am today proud to witness will become an active mechanism serving the goal of realising the potential of our cooperation to the fullest.

Let me assure you that within its power, the Embassy of Ukraine will provide the Secretariat with all the necessary assistance.

Thank you.