Ukrainian World Congress President Eugene Czolij concludes visit to Serbia
On 5-6 March 2018, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled a visit to Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia, with the goal of furthering current Ukrainian issues with the governing authorities of Serbia and strengthening cooperation with the Ukrainian community.
During meetings with high-ranking state officials of Serbia, the UWC President thanked Serbia for the humanitarian aid to Ukraine provided in support of internally displaced persons. Eugene Czolij also presented the current situation in the Donbas and Crimea resulting from the ongoing aggression of the Russian Federation which is a serious threat not only for Ukraine, but Serbia as well. The UWC President called upon Serbia, which aspires to join the EU, to support EU resolutions on the situation in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. In addition, the UWC President highlighted the significant achievements of Ukraine in reforming and modernizing while countering the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Eastern Ukraine. Concluding, Eugene Czolij expressed a willingness to work with Serbia, which is already a candidate country on track to join the EU by 2025, to help Ukraine achieve a similar accession path.
On 5 March 2018, the UWC President visited Novi Sad, attended Divine Liturgy at the Sts. Apostles Peter and Paul Greek Catholic Church, and then held a community meeting at this church. Participating in this meeting were Greek Catholic Apostolic Exarch in Serbia Bishop Djura Džudžar, clergy of the Greek Catholic Church in Vojvodyna, and presidents and representatives of various community organizations, including UWC member organizations – Union of Ruthenians-Ukrainians of Serbia and Society of Ukrainian Language, Literature and Culture “Prosvita”, and the National Council of the Ukrainian National Community and National Council of the Ruthenian National Community. During this meeting, Eugene Czolij presented the work of the UWC and had an opportunity to further familiarize himself with Ukrainian community life in Serbia. This meeting was also reported on by Ukrainian-language media, including Radio-Televizija Vojvodina.
The UWC President also met with Ambassador of Ukraine in Serbia Oleksandr Aleksandrovych with whom he discussed the means to ensure that the position of Serbia with respect to the Russian hybrid aggression fully aligns with the position of the EU on this issue.
In addition, at the Embassy of Canada in Serbia the UWC President met with the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Canada to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro Brian Ebel during which he expressed gratitude for Canada’s leading role in supporting Ukraine, including in the defence of its territorial integrity.
On this day, Eugene Czolij also had the opportunity to discuss with the President of the Serbian World Congress (SWC) Zoran Jovičićand representatives of Serbian civil society the work of the UWC and SWC.
On 6 March the UWC President was interviewed by Radio-Televizija Serbia.
The UWC President was accompanied to separate meetings by First Secretary for Policy, Cultural Cooperation and Media Relations of the Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia Nataliya Markevych; President of the UWC member organization in Serbia, Society of Ukrainian Language, Literature and Culture “Prosvita”, Miroslav Hochak; and Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych.
“The meetings in Serbia were productive and provided an opportunity to discuss at various levels the means for continued cooperation on current Ukrainian issues, and particularly on strengthening support for Ukraine in relation to the Russian hybrid aggression,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
Aleksandrovych Oleksandr, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Serbia
Bulatović Rade, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia to Ukraine
Čanak Nenad, Member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Head of the European Integration Committee
Bishop Džudžar Djura, Greek Catholic Apostolic Exarch in Serbia
Ebel Brian, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the Embassy of Canada to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro
Golubović Danilo, Adviser to the Minister of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia
Jovičić Zoran, President of the Serbian World Congress
Ljajić Rasim, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications of the Republic of Serbia
Međak Vladimir, Vice-President of the European Movement International (Serbia)
Milačić Jugoslav, Adviser to the Minister of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia
Misković Damjan, Senior Fellow at the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development
Paunović Suzana, Director of the Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Republic of Serbia
Rastovac Siamashvili Tamara, Head of Department for OSCE and Council of Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia
Selaković Nikola, General Secretary of the President of the Republic of Serbia
Viček Anamarija, State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia
In the photo from left: М. Iaroshevych, E. Czolij, N. Selaković and O. Aleksandrovych (fifth)