On 29 January 2016 in Washington, U.S.A., Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij and Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe officially signed a Memorandum of Agreement to renew the cooperation between the UWC and the Atlantic Council, that began in September 2014.
In accordance with this Memorandum, the UWC will continue its cooperation with the Atlantic Council on implementing the “Ukraine in Europe Initiative”, which aims to galvanize international support for an independent, sovereign and territorially integral Ukraine, including Crimea. This initiative is also intended to support reforms in Ukraine and its Euro-Atlantic integration, and to counter Russian disinformation.
The achievements of the “Ukraine in Europe Initiative” include three extensive reports in 2015: Human Rights Abuses in Russian-occupied Crimea, Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine and The Militarization of Crimea under Russian Occupation.
On this day, the UWC President addressed a strategic session of the Atlantic Council on Ukraine during which he emphasized the importance of continuing targeted sanctions against Russia until it fully complies with the Minsk agreements, supporting the processes for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration, including during the upcoming referendum in the Netherlands on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and strengthening actions to combat Russian disinformation.
In the framework of this session Eugene Czolij discussed the issue of sanctions against Russia with Ambassador Daniel Fried, Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, U.S. Department of State.
During a meeting with the Director for Eastern European Affairs, U.S. National Security Council, Liz Zentos, the UWC President expressed concern over President Barack Obama’s statement during the 2016 State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress that Ukraine is a “client state” of Russia, and he urged the United States to clearly accentuate that Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression and support the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The UWC President also met with the Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S.A., Valeriy Chaly, to discuss the strengthening of mutual relations between the Ukrainian diaspora and Ukraine.
At separate meetings the UWC President was accompanied by the Director of the Ukrainian National Information Service, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Michael Sawkiw, and prominent community activist and philanthropist George Chopivsky.
“I trust that the cooperation between the UWC and the Atlantic Council will continue to effectively further awareness of the international community on Russia’s violation of the world order, and help defend the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, thereby stopping the advance of Russian imperialism into the West,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
In the photo: Signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (from left): Eugene Czolij and Frederick Kempe.