UWC President Eugene Czolij fulfilled visit to Estonia
On 10-11 October 2017 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij, on the invitation of UWC member organization Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia, fulfilled a working visit to Tallinn, Estonia, where he discussed continued support for Ukraine during meetings with the Speaker of the Parliament Eiki Nestorand other high-ranking state officials of Estonia, and also participated in the Ukrainian community’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UWC.
During the meetings with high-ranking officials, the UWC President thanked Estonia for its significant support for Ukraine and emphasized the importance of further combatting the hybrid war of the Russian Federation which continues to pose a serious threat both for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and peace and stability in the entire world. With this, Eugene Czolij noted the importance of deploying to the Donbas, in accordance with international criteria, a UN peacekeeping mission and an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) police mission, and an OSCE monitoring mission to Crimea. The UWC President called for the strengthening of sanctions against the Russian Federation for its continuous non-compliance with the Minsk agreements and human rights violations in Crimea. In addition, Eugene Czolij raised the issue of countering the Russian disinformation campaign that attempts to portray Ukraine as a failed state, and shared information on recent significant reforms in Ukraine. The UWC President called upon Estonia to support assistance for Ukraine, similar to that of the Marshall Plan, that will help in its recovery from the destruction caused by Russian aggression and furthering needed reforms. He also called for measures to stop the Nord Stream 2 project which poses a threat to European energy security. Eugene Czolij further expressed gratitude to Estonia for being the first country to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 as a genocide of the Ukrainian people.
The UWC President participated in a roundtable discussion on 11 October 2017 in the Parliament of Estonia on the initiative of the Head of the Estonia-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group Johannes Kert on the topic of Estonian-Ukrainian relations, and the role of Estonia and the UWC in supporting Ukraine.
On 10 October 2017, the UWC President joined the Ukrainian community led by Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia President Vira Konyk in a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UWC. Eugene Czolij delivered the keynote address presenting the main achievements of the UWC and highlighting the future objectives of the Ukrainian diaspora that are foremost tied to the defence of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. During this commemoration, the UWC President presented UWC Certificates of Recognition to Ukrainian associations, groups and activists, and the Estonian volunteer organizations Vaba Ukraina (Free Ukraine), Моndo, portal Uudised Ukrainast (“News from Ukraine”) and participants of numerous pickets in support of Ukraine against Russian aggression that have been ongoing in Tallinn for three years.
To official meetings the UWC President was accompanied by Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Ukraine to Estonia Vasyl Yakovenko, President of the Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia Vira Konyk and Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych.
“The Ukrainian World Congress expresses gratitude to Estonia for its considerable contribution to the defence of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and for recognition of the Holodomor as a genocide of the Ukrainian people,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of high-ranking officials with whom the UWC President met:
Hartman Piret, Undersecretary for Cultural Diversity at the Ministry of Culture of Estonia
Käosaar Irene, Director of the Integration Foundation
Kelam Mari-Ann, Head of the Viimsi Rural Municipality Council from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union
Kert Johannes, Head of Estonia-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group
Kõva Kalvi, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party Faction, Parliament of Estonia
Loot Heiki, Secretary of State of Estonia
Melville, Jr. James, Ambassador of the United States of America to Estonia
Mikko Marianne, Chairman of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Nestor Eiki, Speaker of the Parliament of Estonia
Pevkur Hanno, Chairman of the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Parliament of Estonia
Seeder Helir-Valdor, Chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction, Parliament of Estonia
Teesalu Paul, Political Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Yakovenko Vasyl, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Ukraine to Estonia
More on the visit of the UWC President to Estonia was reported in the Ukrainian language by Ukraiinskyi Pohliad.
In the photo from left to right: V.Yakovenko, M.Iaroshevych, E.Czolij, E.Nestor and V.Konyk