14 June 2014
UWC President meets with Ukrainian Church Patriarchs, the President, Prime Minister and high-ranking government officials
and representatives of media and civil society in Ukraine
On 6-12 June 2014 in Kyiv, Ukraine, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij met with Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyivan Patriarchate, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, the highest ranking state officials of Ukraine – President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Olexandr Turchynov, the Vice Prime Minister and Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, the Mayor of the City of Kyiv, the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, and representatives of the media and civil society in Ukraine.
The topics for discussion included the current situation in Ukraine, UWC activities in support of Ukraine and a roadmap for future cooperation. The UWC President affirmed the will of the Ukrainian diaspora led by the UWC to assist Ukraine in protecting its territorial integrity, achieving peace as soon as possible, democratization, Euro‑integration and future growth. There was an emphasis on the need to strengthen efforts to communicate to the international community the fact that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is a global issue that threatens peace and stability throughout the world. To put an end to the gross violation by Russia of its international commitments, primarily those specified in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances signed upon Ukraine relinquishing its nuclear arsenal, it is imperative for the signatories of the Memorandum, particularly the United States and Great Britain, and other countries, to help equip Ukraine to defend its territory.
The need for a concerted information campaign designed to combat Russia’s disinformation about Ukraine was stressed. The UWC President confirmed that the UWC signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre and Espreso TV to enable the further dissemination of factual information on current events in Ukraine in the countries of residence of the Ukrainian diaspora.
Eugene Czolij reaffirmed that the UWC will continue to staunchly defend fundamental human rights of Ukrainians, particularly in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, including the right to religious freedom, and continue to coordinate humanitarian aid for the victims of EuroMaidans and Russian aggression.
Also discussed were the implementation of reforms to combat corruption and the acceleration of democratization and accession into the European Union. The UWC President stated that the UWC will continue furthering the European aspirations of Ukraine.
The representatives of Ukrainian governing authorities recognized the work of the UWC and the Ukrainian diaspora, including the organization of the substantial monitoring mission for the May Presidential Election, and expressed the will to significantly strengthen relations between Ukraine’s governing authorities and the UWC. Specific discussions were held on the development of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ukraine and the UWC in various spheres of activity.
On the invitation of the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Eugene Czolij delivered greetings to participants of the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast “New Ukraine: Into the future with God.”
The UWC President was accompanied in the majority of the meetings by:
- UWC Secretary General, Chairman of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations Stefan Romaniw;
- UWC Vice President, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Paul Grod;
- President of the World Congress of Ukrainian Youth Organizations Miroslav Hochak;
- Deputy Director of the UWC Office in Ukraine Maryna Yaroshevych.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
- Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyivan Patriarchate;
- Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church;
- President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko;
- Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk;
- Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Olexandr Turchynov;
- Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksandr Sych;
- Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Ostap Semerak;
- Minister of Economic Development and Trade Pavlo Sheremeta;
- Minister of Education and Science Serhiy Kvit;
- Minister of Culture Yevhen Nischuk;
- Minister of Youth and Sports Dmytro Bulatov;
- Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrii Deshchytsia;
- Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy;
- Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Mykola Udovychenko;
- Mayor of the City of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko;
- Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Troy Lulashnyk;
- Coordinator for International Relations for Ukraine Crisis Media Centre Vasyl Myroshnychenko;
- Editor in Chief of Espreso TV Vadym Denysenko;
- Leader of the Third Ukrainian Republic Yuriy Lutsenko;
- President of Center UA Oleh Rybachuk;
- Director of the Institute of World Policy Alyona Getmanchuk;
- Head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine Oleksandr Chernenko;
- Head of the Batkivschyna Moloda all- Ukrainian youth public organization Ivan Krulko.
The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 33 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non - governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.