Victor Yushchenko’s address at the inauguration ceremony at the Verkhovna Rada

 

 

Holy fathers, honorable head of the Verkhovna Rada, esteemed people’s deputies, honored guests, and dear friends. For the first time I am speaking from this rostrum as the President of Ukraine. Until now I have had the honor of standing behind this rostrum as the head of the National Bank of Ukraine, as Prime Minister of Ukraine, as leader of the “Our Ukraine” Faction of the current convocation. In this place I pronounced sweet and bitter words, experienced sadness and joyous moments. And every time I ascended to the parliamentary rostrum as if scaffolding because I wished my every word to strengthen our large home – democratic and independent Ukraine.

 

I am happy that my work did not go in vain. It added to the work of my political brothers in arms, to the work of our parliament, to the work of the people of Ukraine, to the work of every citizen. I think this is exactly the case when we are building the wall and the wall is building us.

 

Today’s event has proven once more that the Ukrainian nation and the Ukrainian state have come through. The citizens of Ukraine have secured honest elections and the transfer of government has been legitimate. This is a tremendous national victory.

 

Build with millions of Ukrainian hands, democracy has withstood the test of strength; the Verkhovna Rada too has passed a difficult test. In the time of ordeal it has found strength to come to the aid of justice. The parliament was together with its people, supported its desires and hopes.

 

You, dear people’s deputies, have defended the Ukrainian democracy, defended unity and independence of our Ukraine.

 

Sincere gratitude goes out to you for that.

 

Sincere gratitude goes out to every people’s deputy present at this assembly hall. I would like to extend my hand to you today. I would like to shake hands with every people’s deputy, every faction and every faction leader and to call all of you to cooperation.

 

We have a common goal – prosperous and democratic Ukraine. I am convinced that Ukraine is above everything else for every people’s deputy assembled in this hall. This is a good object of our common labour.

 

I am convinced that our work, dear friends, will continue. Together we are to work with the people and for the people.

 

On this day, dear friends, I am looking for a way to be among the people. I am inviting all the people’s deputies, guests, friends, all of you present in this hall to come to Maidan upon the closing of this session. I would like to share my oath, taken in this building, with the people. I am calling on every one of you: let us join the people; they are waiting for us; and let us be together!