Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Viktor Chernomyrdin, a very good friend of Ukraine and a great patriot of Russia, a man who did a lot to ensure that our peoples and countries live in peace and harmony.

I very often recall Viktor Stepanovich, his wisdom and human charm. I was fortunate to be in close touch with this politician and diplomat. Unfortunately, in 2014 and in subsequent years, there was no public figure equal to Viktor Chernomyrdin in the sphere of Ukrainian-Russian relations. He knew how to find a way out of the most difficult situations, how to convince, and foresee. And, I am sure, if he were alive, the history of relations between Ukraine and the Russian Federation could develop according to a different scenario.

Today a vessel named after Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin was launched in Saint Petersburg. A worthy perpetuation of his memory! I would very much like Ukraine to begin to honour its real heroes – those who created the glory of the country, contributed to its development, won the Victory, and not collaborators and perpetrators whose main "valour" was willingness to betray and the ability to hate.