Zelensky marks his first anniversary in office / Photo from president.gov.ua

The United States has congratulated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his administration on their first anniversary in office.

"At the time of President Zelensky's election, the United States warmly welcomed his commitment to implement the reforms necessary to move Ukraine into a new era marked by stability, prosperity, democracy, and further integration into Europe. We commend the progress achieved this year," says a statement posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv on May 20.

"Over 130 Ukrainians unjustly detained by Russia and its proxies have returned to their families. The government completed unbundling of its natural gas sector, an important step in strengthening Ukraine's energy security. Decentralization efforts to empower local communities have moved forward. Ukraine has implemented many of the reforms necessary to establish a new IMF [International Monetary Fund] program," it said.

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The United States says it supports the work that remains, which is complicated by Russia's ongoing, illegal aggression on Ukrainian territory and by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As President Zelensky and his team press forward with dismantling Ukraine's oligarchic system, strengthening the rule of law, and ensuring the independence and integrity of anti-corruption and law enforcement institutions, we will continue to work with the administration to achieve its objectives, and we call on Rada members, and local and regional officials, to resist attempts by vested interests to slow progress," it said.

According to the statement, as President Zelensky enters the second year of his presidency, the United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine in support of a democratic, prosperous Ukraine, secure in its internationally recognized borders.