The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the Culture Ministry should significantly intensify their work on signing general plans with representatives of foreign states concerning preparations to mark the 200th birthday of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said.
"The Foreign Ministry and Culture Ministry should intensify their activity on signing respective general plans to hold events on the celebration by the international community of the 200th birthday of Taras Shevchenko," Yanukovych said at a meeting of the humanitarian council in Kyiv on Thursday. He said that the international aspect of the celebration of this event is extremely important in terms of improving Ukraine's image as a highly civilized state. Yanukovych said that he was "extremely interested" in learning at what stage is the work on the construction and opening of the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Astana (Kazakhstan). "I'm confident that our international agency should take measures to bring to a proper condition the sites associated with the name of Taras Shevchenko in other countries. In particular, I mean Russia, Lithuania, and Uzbekistan," he said. "I'm sure that people's deputies could have supported the Foreign Ministry in this work. In particular, I mean inter-parliamentary ties with countries with which the plans on preparations for the joint celebration of the anniversary have not yet been signed," Yanukovych said.