(Hellenic Parliament, “Eleftherios Venizelos Hall”, November 7, 2014)
Mr. Chairman of the Greek-Ukrainian Parliamentary Friendship Group,
Members of the Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, let me thank the organizers of this event and to all who made efforts to make this our initiative a reality. I am honored, that in year, when our country celebrated the 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko`s birth and the 200th anniversary of Filiki Eteria (founded in Odessa "in order when it comes the right time liberate the Motherland"), to be in the Parliament of the Hellenic Republic and welcome you.
Our countries united the everlasting friendship that – as it has been proven many times – has a diachronic value. For a long time, Ukraine is home for many Greeks. Organized Greek community, in which exist schools, Universities and churches, where cultivated Greek language and Orthodox spirituality, consists of about 100 thousand people.
Ukrainian citizens, who now lives in Greece, represent an approximate number of 40 thousand people, and are well organized community that has a five associates, three Sunday schools, as well as choral and dance groups.
Our today’s event dedicated to the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language. This holiday was established by the Decree of the President of Ukraine of November 6, 1997 and is officially celebrated every year on November 9. The named holiday was established in honor of Saint Nestor the Chronicler, "who lived in a cave", who is historically serves as a follower of the creators of Slavic language – Saints Cyril and Methodius.
There is no exact data of the life of St. Nestor, we know only that he was born in Kyiv in 1050 year, and died about 1114 year. Scientists say that by St. Nestor the Chronicler begins development of the written Ukrainian language. Monk Nestor began to create his Chronicle, when he became already famous. He described the events, distributed it over the years, and provided data on the elements of geography, connected with the life of Slavic tribes. In his Chronicle Nestor combining history of all Slavic with the World history, tells about the relocation of Slavic tribes, describes the life of the ancient Slavs on the banks of the DnieperRiver in the II-V centuries. He writes about the creation of brothers Cyril and Methodius the Slavic alphabet and writing, about the Christianization of St. Princess Olha and Christianization of Kievan Rus by St. Prince Volodymyr in Constantinople in 988 year.
All works of the Monk Nestor the Chronicler called "The Primary Chronicle".
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Continuing my short greeting, I would also like to inform you that on the occasion of the 1025th anniversary of the Christianization of Kievan Rus, in Ukraine have been issued the Holy Gospel, which has the great important for the Christian and Slavic world at large.
This Memory was published by the publishing house "ADEF-Ukraine" headed by its director Mr. Ihor Shpak, who is now with us.
This Gospel, which is called Peresopnytsia Gospel (from the name of small village in Ukraine), written by capital letters, the form of which resembles the old Slavic manuscripts. It was the first liturgical books in the areas of South Rus, adapted to the "living" language of the XVI century. This book is rightly called the "Ukrainian First Book", it is a symbol of the rebirth of Orthodox and is a rare and sacred memory that are in Ukraine.
In our country, the Peresopnytsia Gospel symbolizes the state power. All Ukrainian Presidents swears the people of Ukraine during the oath ceremony on the Peresopnytsia Gospel.
Exact copy of the book with all the details, created on papyrus using the gold of 23 carats, with icons of Saints, we have the honor to present today in the Parliament of the HellenicRepublic. One more book - it is the same Gospel, translated into the modern language.
With this our initiative we want to emphasize the importance of the principle of democracy and thus symbolically express our respect towards the Hellenic Parliament, as well as underline the respect of Ukrainian people to the friendly Greek people.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Now is not the right time to analyze the complex causes of the problems we are experiencing together.
I would like to express my great respect for human life and heartily wish that we have overcome these problems as soon as it possible. I also firmly believe that we, and all people of good will and mutual respect, will work together effectively and with the appropriate responsibility.
Let me once again express my deep gratitude for the organization of this event, for your attention. I would also note that our Embassy will continue to do everything necessary to ensure that relations between Greece and Ukraine developed on a regular basis, become more efficient and benefits to the friendship of our peoples.