During PACE winter session in Strasbourg UWC President calls for humanitarian aid for Ukraine and continued action to counter Russian aggression
On 22-23 January 2018 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij participated in the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France, where he addressed a side event titled “Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and the persistent Russian aggression”, and met with high-ranking officials of the Council of Europe and heads and representatives of PACE member delegations including Ukraine.
During meetings the UWC President encouraged PACE member states to support the Resolution of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons that PACE adopted on 22 January 2018 on the basis of the report “Humanitarian consequences of the war in Ukraine” prepared by member of the Lithuanian delegation Egidijus Vareikis. Eugene Czolij also highlighted the significant costin 2017 to Ukraine of supporting the needs of the internally displaced persons and focused attention specifically on the fact that last year in the framework of the Humanitarian Response Plan of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Ukraine received only 26% of the budgeted amount. The UWC President called upon PACE to find additional funds to financially support Ukraine and review the issue of providing Ukraine economic assistance similar to the Marshall Plan. In addition, Eugene Czolij underscored the importance of continued action to counter Russian aggression which continues to pose a serious threat for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as peace and stability in the world. The UWC President noted the significant progress of Ukraine in reforming, particularly highlighting the efforts to reduce the level of corruption.
In the framework of the session Eugene Czolij had the opportunity to personally congratulate the newly-elected President of PACE, Michele Nicoletti.
On 23 January 2018 a side event titled “Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and the persistent Russian aggression” was chaired by Head of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE Volodymyr Ariev during which presentations were delivered by President of the international organization Caritas Ukraine Andrij Waskowycz, Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych and UWC President Eugene Czolij. Andrij Waskowycz specifically highlighted the significant, yet invisible humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as a result of Russian aggression. Maryna Iaroshevych noted that Russian aggression is directed at Ukraine as well as western democracies.Eugene Czolij urged PACE to not succumb to the present pressure of the Russian Federation and not to cancel sanctions against it for violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The UWC President also met with the Ukrainian delegation to PACE during which he congratulated Volodymyr Ariev on his election to the position of PACE Vice President for 2018, and together with its members and Ukraine’s representative to the Council of Europe Dmytro Kuleba discussed strategy for continued cooperation in furthering Ukrainian issues on an international level.
While in France the UWC President was accompanied by Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych.
“I anticipate the long-term vision of the Council of Europe for its international mission as well as its deliberate decision to maintain sanctions against the Russian Federation until it de-occupies Crimea and upholds the Minsk agreements with respect to the Donbas,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of officials with whom the UWC President met:
Ariev Volodymyr, Vice President of PACE, Chairperson of the Ukrainian Delegation to PACE
Brasseur Ann, Member of Parliament, former President of PACE
Cazeau Bernard, Senator of France
Dzhemiliev Mustafa, Member of the Ukrainian Delegation to PACE
Guessel Alexandre, PACE Director of Political Affairs
Ionova Mariia, Substitute Member of the Ukrainian Delegation to PACE
Jagland Thorbjorn, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Kayacik Leyla, Director of PACE Secretary General’s Private Office
Kuleba Dmytro, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe
Lupu Marian, Chairperson of the Moldovan Delegation to PACE, Co-Chair of the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly
Nicoletti Michele, President of PACE
Trisse Nicole, Vice President of PACE, Chairperson of the French Delegation to PACE
Vareikis Egidijus, Member of the Lithuanian Delegation to PACE
Photo from left to right: A. Waskowycz, V. Ariev, E. Czoli and M. Iaroshevych at the RACE side event