Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij concluded visit to Azerbaijan
On 22-23 April 2018, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan, with the goals of addressing current Ukrainian issues with government authorities and civil society of Azerbaijan, and strengthening ties with the Ukrainian community.
During meetings with government authorities, the UWC President thanked Azerbaijan for its support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. In this context, he recognized hero of Ukraine Captain Alihar Babayev of Azerbaijani descent who was killed in the war zone of Eastern Ukraine, and Ukrainians Viktor Seriohin, Ruslan Polovynko and Oleh Babak who defended Nagorno-Karabakh as part of the territory of Azerbaijan. In addition, Eugene Czolij focused attention on today’s hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation, which has not only illegally occupied Crimea and continues to wage military actions in Eastern Ukraine, but has launched various destabilizing actions around the world and most recently engaged in chemical attacks. The UWC President called on Azerbaijan to include Ukraine in the building of new gas supply systems. Eugene Czolij also presented the positive results of reforming main areas of Ukraine. The UWC President called upon Azerbaijan to recognize the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people and to introduce this topic into the education curriculum. Eugene Czolij also appealed to the government authorities of Azerbaijan to participate in resolving important issues related to Ukrainian religious and cultural-educational life, including the provision of premises for the work and events of the Ukrainian community.
On 22 April 2018, the UWC President attended Divine Liturgy at the Roman Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception.
That day, Eugene Czolij together with Ambassador of Ukraine in Azerbaijan Olexandr Mischenko, staff of the Embassy of Ukraine and representatives of municipal governing authorities and the Ukrainian community laid flowers at the monument to Taras Shevchenko, and on the next day paid tribute at the memorial plaque dedicated to the Special Diplomatic Mission of the Ukrainian People’s Republic in Azerbaijan in 1919-20.
The UWC President held a community meeting at the Embassy of Ukraine with members of the organizations Ukrainian Congress of Azerbaijan chaired by Yuri Osadchenko and Ivan Franko Ukrainian Community in the city of Sumqayit chaired by Tamilla Musayeva. Meeting participants discussed continued cooperation with the UWC in support of Ukraine and the role of the UWC in ensuring that the national-cultural needs of the Ukrainian community in Azerbaijan are met.
During the trip to Azerbaijan, the UWC President was accompanied by Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych. Ambassador of Ukraine in Azerbaijan Olexandr Mischenko participated in individual meetings.
“The meetings in Baku offered an opportunity for constructive discussion on the continued support by Azerbaijan for the defence of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the strengthening of Azerbaijani-Ukrainian relations,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
Additional information on the meetings of the UWC President in Azerbaijan is available on the web site of the Embassy of Ukraine in Azerbaijan.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
Akhundova Elmira, Member of the Milli Mejlis (Parlіament) of Azerbaijan
Gill William, Chargé d’affaires of the United States to Azerbaijan
Guliyev Rufat, Chairman of the Azerbaijan-Ukraine working group on inter-parliamentary relations, Member of the Milli Mejlis (Parlіament) of Azerbaijan
Hasanov Ravan, Acting Executive Director of Baku International Centre of Multiculturalism
Hashimova Naila, President of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation and the Caucasus Research Resource Center in Azerbaijan
Ibrahimov Nazim, Acting Chairman of the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Work with the Diaspora
Mischenko Olexandr, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in Azerbaijan
Mukhtarov Ilgar, Ambassador, Director of the Second European Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan
From left: M. Iaroshevych, I.Mukhtarov, E. Czolij and O. Mischenko