FOR THE RECORD: President Bush's statement on Chornobyl's 20th anniversary

Following is the text of President George W. Bush's statement on the 20th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster. It was released on April 25 by the Embassy of the United States in Ukraine.

On the 20th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, I join my fellow Americans in expressing our deepest condolences for this tragedy. Today, we remember the victims of this horrible accident and recognize those who still suffer great hardship in its aftermath.

By closing Chornobyl more than five years ago, a free Ukraine removed an environmental threat built by an oppressive government, created the circumstances for a safer and more prosperous region, and acted with courage in the march of democracy. I appreciate the people around the world who continue to show their compassion for those still suffering in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and I reaffirm America's commitment to the ongoing effort to improve the safety and security of Chornobyl by confining its nuclear reactor.

On this solemn anniversary, we pay tribute to the lives lost and the communities hurt in the devastation following the disaster at Chornobyl. We are encouraged as the people of Ukraine and neighboring regions resolve to rise again and reclaim a future of hope and dignity.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, April 30, 2006, No. 18, Vol. LXXIV

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