Monday, April 26, 2010

President's address on the occasion of Chernobyl Disaster Day

Dear compatriots!

Since then, that has been the day of mourning for victims of the Chernobyl disaster and the day of warning for responsible use of peaceful atom. We all remember and mourn heroes of different nationalities, who sacrificed their lives for the future of civilization.

May their bright memory live forever. They will always remain in our hearts.

Perhaps the fact that Ukraine was the first to feel and realized the dangers of peaceful atom, was one of the motivations for our country to be the first in the world to voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons. We have recently also shown the example to the whole world by making the decision to give up leftovers our highly enriched uranium stocks.

Whether we like it or not, Ukraine's energy future is impossible without nuclear power. But we want it to be peaceful and safe, given the lessons of Chernobyl, for which we paid a very high price. There are still more than two million people suffering from harmful effects of radiation exposure, of which 498 thousand are children.

One says that time eases the pain and recently we have been treating the Chernobyl disaster victims very habitually. Their support due to inflation and other processes is becoming more and more symbolic. But we'll change that. Our economy will be gradually recovering and we will find the financial resources to optimize social protection to Chernobyl disaster victims.

As the President of Ukraine, I appeal to all fellow countrymen to unite efforts to overcome the leftover consequences of the disaster. Let the coordinated work, the best human qualities and the character of Ukrainians weathered with the years of overcoming the consequences of Chernobyl disaster, continue to be grounds for quality changes and prosperity of our Homeland.