Victor Yushchenko has taken part in a ceremony to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the National Bank of Ukraine, according to the President’s press-office.

      In his speech, the Head of State said the National Bank had repeatedly displayed its maturity and competence in ensuring the stability of the national currency and strengthening the banking system.

      “We can now say the National Bank controls the banking market and that we have the developed banking system,” he said.

      The President thanked Ukrainian bankers for “never causing banking crises.” “If we look at our neighbors, we shall see there is no country that has not been affected by a deep crisis,” he said, adding that “although this fact has not yet been appreciated, it is one of the merits of those who represent the National Bank.”

      Remembering the 1990’s, when Ukraine’s banking sector was being created, the Chief of State said “the people trusted no banks then.” But we had to introduce currency reforms and were that anchor that helped the market move, he added.

      Mr. Yushchenko said the history of the National Bank was “colossally wonderful, with thousands of people having contributed to it, which really makes us all proud.” He also characterized the time he worked at this bank as “precious.”

      The President said the National Bank had always employed patriotic people. Then he honored many gifted bankers and particularly Volodymyr Matviyenko and Vadym Hetman, who was “a brilliant personality and endowed the whole banking system of Ukraine with new values.” Mr. Yushchenko also praised Volodymyr Stelmakh, NBU Chairman, as a “ person that came to the bank at the right time and has always represented it professionally.”

      Then the President thanked those present for helping develop the country and said “the National Bank will continue to be the leader of changes awaiting Ukraine.” He also presented state awards to prominent bankers.

      Oleh Rybachuk, Secretariat Chief of Staff, Leonid Chernovetsky, Kyiv Mayor, and Oleksandr Suhonyako, President of the Association of Ukrainian Banks, attended the ceremony.