UWC President Eugene Czolij fulfills visit to Croatia
On 8-9 October 2017 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled a working visit to Zagreb, Croatia, during which he participated in the state commemoration of Croatian Independence Day, met with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Speaker of the Parliament Gordan Jandroković, other high-ranking state officials of Croatia and representatives of municipal structures of Zagreb, and joined the Ukrainian community for a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UWC.
During these meetings the UWC President congratulated the high-ranking officials on Croatian Independence Day and encouraged Croatia to support Ukraine in today’s difficult times. He particularly called for continued support for Ukraine in overcoming the hybrid war of the Russian Federation, thereby ensuring the protection of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and furthering peace and stability in the world. In addition, Eugene Czolij spoke about the need for the international community to counter Russian disinformation and focused attention on the significant reforms in Ukraine that are being realized with the active support of civil society. The UWC President also called upon Croatia to continue providing Ukraine with humanitarian aid and to support a Marshall Plan for Ukraine that will assist it in recovering from the destruction caused by Russian aggression and furthering reforms. He called upon Croatia to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 a genocide of the Ukrainian people. Eugene Czolij expressed gratitude for the support of the Ukrainian community in Croatia. Separately, he also focused attention on the upcoming concert in Zagreb of the O. Oleksandrov Russian Red Army Choir noting that it is not acceptable to welcome a military choir of a state that is waging armed aggression in Ukraine in violation of the international order.
With representatives of the municipal structures of Zagreb Eugene Czolij discussed the importance of securing a centre for the Ukrainian community in Croatia from which it can conduct its activities.
On 8 October 2017, the UWC President together with the Ukrainian community and the Attaché for Culture, Diaspora and Media and Third Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in Croatia Vita Holets laid wreaths at the monument to Taras Shevchenko where he delivered an address. Eugene Czolij then participated in a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UWC at the Kobzar Ukrainian Cultural-Educational Association where he presented the achievements of the UWC and the main objectives of the Ukrainian diaspora led by the UWC for the future.
The cultural program during this commemoration was presented by artists of the Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural-Educational Association of Rijeka, and the Ukrainian community and Kobzar Ukrainian Cultural-Educational Association of Zagreb.
While in Zagreb, UWC President together with the leaders of the Ukrainian community in Croatia discussed future cooperation on issues of mutual interest with diplomatic representatives of Ukraine in Croatia – Chargé d’Affaires of Ukraine in Croatia Yaroslav Simonov, Defence Attaché Volodymyr Opanasiuk and Attaché for Culture, Diaspora and Media, Third Secretary of the Embassy Vita Holets.
The UWC President also attended Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The UWC President was accompanied by member of the UWC Audit Committee and representative of the Ukrainian national minority in Zagreb Viktor Filima who organized the commemoration of the UWC 50th anniversary in Zagreb, Chargé d’Affaires of Ukraine in Croatia Yaroslav Simonov, and Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych.
“The Ukrainian World Congress is grateful to Croatia for its support of Ukraine which continues to fight Russian aggression while successfully reforming,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
Bušić Zdravka, Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia
Đakić Josip, Chairperson of War Veterans Committee of the Croatian Parliament
Jandroković Gordan, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament
Knorr Elizabeta, Head of the Department for promoting human rights of Zagreb
Milković Katarina, Assistant to Head of Office for Education of Zagreb
Plenković Andrej, Prime Minister of Croatia
Stier Davor Ivo, Former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia
In the photo from left: V. Filima, А. Plenković and E. Czolij