Ukrainian World Congress President concludes working visit to Poland
On 7-11 July 2016, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij concluded a working visit to Warsaw, Poland, where he spoke at the Warsaw Summit Experts’ Forum – NATO in Defence of Peace: 2016 and Beyond and met with high-ranking officials, civil society and Ukrainians in Poland.
During meetings with high-ranking Polish officials, the UWC President thanked and encouraged Poland to continue supporting Ukraine’s Euro-integration, and defending the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, both of which are in Poland’s best interests.
Emphasizing today’s hybrid war being waged by the Russian Federation against the Ukrainian nation, Eugene Czolij called upon Polish governing authorities to highlight for the international community that Ukraine remains on the front line in defence of peace and security for all of Europe, and that the international community, including NATO, should take all effective measures to assist Ukraine in stopping Russian imperialism from progressing further West.
The UWC President focused attention on the disinformation campaign of the Russian Federation which aims to portray Ukraine as a failed state and to sow discord between Ukraine and the countries that stand in its support.
Touching upon the issue of historical Ukrainian-Polish conflicts, Eugene Czolij expressed concern over the resolution of the Senate of Poland from 7 July 2016 which, in calling for national remembrance of the victims of the Volyn tragedy, referred to the events which occurred in the region during the Second World War as genocide. The UWC President underscored that these tragic events do not meet neither the historic nor legal criteria of genocide, and that the use of such terminology will only serve to escalate tensions between the two nations at a very critical period in history which will be exploited by the Russian Federation.
On 9 July 2016, UWC President Eugene Czolij was a speaker during the Warsaw Summit Experts’ Forum on the topic Preserving peace by fostering freedom, justice and security to the wider world.
On 10 July 2016, the UWC President attended Sunday liturgy at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church and a memorial service for all those who, throughout the centuries, lost their lives as a result of Polish-Ukrainian conflicts.
That same day, Eugene Czolij visited the Wolski cemetery where he paid tribute to the victims of the Holodomor at a memorial erected in their memory, and the soldiers of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) buried on this site, including General-Lieutenant of the UNR army Marko Bezruchko.
While in Warsaw, the UWC President met with the leadership of local Ukrainian communities, including Petro Tyma, the President of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland (AUP), a UWC member organization. Eugene Czolij also addressed a town hall meeting with Ukrainians in Poland organized by the AUP.
On 11 July 2016, the UWC President laid flowers at the memorial for victims of the Volyn tragedy together with AUP President Petro Tyma, Counsellor of the Embassy of Ukraine in Poland Mykola Yarmoliuk, Third Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in Poland Vasyl Yordan and a delegation representing Ukrainian organizations in Poland.
During the visit to Poland Eugene Czolij was accompanied by UWC Liaison Officer in the EU Maryna Iaroshevych.
“At this time, when the security of the global community finds itself threatened by Russian imperialist ambitions, it is critical that the Ukrainian and Polish nations focus on reconciling the tragic historical events of the past through education and mutual discourse,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
For information on the meeting in the Senate of Poland visit the official Senate web site.
View video of the wreath laying ceremony at the memorial to victims of the Volyn tragedy HERE.
The UWC President met with the following individuals in Poland:
Bielan Adam, Deputy Speaker of the Senate of the Republic of Poland
Dębski Sławomir, Director, Polish Institute of International Affairs
Deschytsia Andrii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Poland
Dworczyk Michal, Head of the Inter-parliamentary Ukraine-Poland Friendship Group
Eberhardt Adam, Executive Director, Mark Karpia Center for Eastern Studies
Gosiewska Małgorzata, Member of Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Member of the Inter-parliamentary Ukraine-Poland Friendship Group
Gromadzki Grzegorz, Director of Open Europe Program, Stephan Batory Foundation
Kieniewicz Leszek, Director, Chancellery of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Office for International and European Union Affairs
Kulik-Bielińska Ewa, Executive Director, Stephan Batory Foundation
Macierewicz Antoni, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Poland
Malicki Jan, Director of the Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw
Schetyna Grzegorz, Leader of the Civic Platform Party, Head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland
Szłapka Adam, Member of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, General Secretary of Nowoczesna Party
Święcicki Marcin, Member of Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Member of the Inter-parliamentary Ukraine-Poland Friendship Group
Terlecki Ryszard, Vice-Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, Chairman of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of Poland and Ukraine
Ziółkowski Marek, Undersecretary of State in charge of Eastern policy and Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland