13 March 2013
UWC President meets with U.S. Congressmen and the Ukrainian community in Chicago
On 10 March 2013 in Chicago, U.S.A., Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij met with U.S. Congressmen Danny Davis and Mike Quigley to discuss the issues of Ukraine's Euro‑integration and democratization. Joining the UWC President in the meetings were Ukrainian community leaders: President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), Illinois Division, Alex Striltschuk, Vice President of UCCA, Illinois Division, Paul Bandriwsky, Chairman of the Heritage Foundation of First Security Federal Savings Bank Julian Kulas, President/CEO of Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union Bohdan Watral, President of the Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America Marta Farion, and Executive Board Member of the Ukrainian National Museum Steve Demitro.
The UWC President noted that in December 2012 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the U.S. was making an effort to prevent Russia's attempt to pull Ukraine into the Customs and Eurasian Unions and create a new Soviet Union. He emphasized that the serious threat to "re-Sovietise the region" may be averted with the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Taking into account that the main condition for this to occur is Ukraine's governing authorities reverting to democratic governance, the U.S. should consider broadening the scope of the Magnitsk y Bill to include individuals associated with human rights violations in Ukraine.
Eugene Czolij also encouraged the U.S. to take appropriate actions to ensure that Russia complies with the 1994 Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also signed by the U.S., the UK and Ukraine, and stops using Russian gas as a political weapon against Ukraine.
These issues were also presented by the UWC President at a community gathering organized by the UCCA Illinois Division under the leadership of President Alex Striltschuk and Vice President Paul Bandriwsky. During the program, Eugene Czolij recognized the Heritage Foundation of First Security Federal Savings Bank for its ongoing financial support of the work of the UWC and presented a plaque in gratitude to Foundation Chairman, Julian Kulas. To conclude the evening, the Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union and Selfreliance Foundation, and the Illinois Division of UCCA presented the UWC President with generous donations in support of UWC activities.
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 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.