Ukrainian World Congress President meets with high-ranking European Union officials in Belgium
On 31 May – 3 June 2016, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij met in Brussels, Belgium, with high-ranking officials of the European Union (EU) and representatives of civil society to discuss continued support for Ukraine.
During his meetings, Eugene Czolij focused attention on the geopolitical consequences of the ongoing hybrid war of the Russian Federation, including its illegal occupation of Crimea and military actions on the Eastern territories of Ukraine. He also emphasized the need for the international community to support Ukraine which, in defending its borders, is protecting European and global security. As a result, the UWC President called for continued sanctions against the Russian Federation until it fully complies with the Minsk agreements and de-occupies Crimea. Eugene Czolij also expressed concern over the intention expressed by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2016.
The UWC President stated that European institutions should be conscious of the fact that the Russian disinformation campaign aims to present Ukraine to the world as a failed state. He discussed the strengthening of joint communication strategies in combating Russian disinformation, and noted that the European community should recognize the reforms being realized in Ukraine.
Also discussed were the significance of the full implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens to the European Union Member States that belong to the Schengen Area, and continued support for the reform process in Ukraine.
Eugene Czolij highlighted the violations of human rights in the illegally occupied Crimea by the Russian Federation, the increasing pressure on Ukrainians in the Russian Federation, and the unlawful imprisonment of Ukrainians on politically-motivated charges in the Russian Federation.
The UWC President delivered remarks on the current situation in Ukraine during a coordination meeting of non governmental organizations with representation in Brussels dealing with Ukraine-related matters, chaired by UWC Liaison Officer in the EU Maryna Iaroshevych.
Eugene Czolij also participated in a meeting when the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák presented the priorities of the Slovak Republic during the period of its chairmanship of the Council of the European Union beginning 1 July 2016. During this event, the UWC President underscored the gross violations by the Russian Federation of the global order, particularly its aggressor actions in Eastern Ukraine and its illegal occupation of Crimea, and the importance of finalizing the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
The UWC Liaison Officer in the EU Maryna Iaroshevych also participated in these meetings.
“The Ukrainian World Congress calls for a united European Union in countering Russian expansionism and taking decisive action in support of Ukraine to ensure peace and stability in the world,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
The UWC President met with the following EU officials:
Austrevicius Petras, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Head of the EU Ukraine Friendship Group
Buzek Jerzy, Member of the European Parliament, Former President of the European Parliament, Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs, Мember of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence
Costello Daniel J., Ambassador of Canada to the European Union
Czarnecki Ryszard, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Demesmaeker Mark, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee
Fleckenstein Knut, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chairman of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Member of the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
Fotyga Anna Elżbieta, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence
Gardner Anthony Luzzatto, Ambassador of the United States to the European Union
Hartzell Carl, Senior Adviser, Cabinet of the President of the European Council
Karas Othmar, Member of the European Parliament, Chairman of European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee
Kelam Tunne, Member of the European Parliament
Kionka Riina, Chief Foreign Policy Adviser, Cabinet of the President of the European Council
Lajčák Miroslav, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Maasikas Matti, Ambassador of Estonia to the European Union
Marinescu Marian-Jean, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of Group of the European People’s Party
Masur Walter, Diplomatic Adviser, Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament
Neliupsiene Jovita, Ambassador of Lithuania to the European Union
Pateron Cristophe, Team Leader for Iraq, Eastern Neighbourhood, Central Asia and Caucasus, Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, European Commission
Pelšs Andris, Political and Security Committee Ambassador of Latvia to the European Union
Piorko Iwona, Member of the Cabinet of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission
Pirinski Georgi, Member of the European Parliament
Plenković Andrej, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Porres de Mateo Beatriz, Head of External Relations Unit, European Economic and Social Committee
Portman Giles, Head of the East Stratcom Task Force, European External Action Service
Pranckevičius Arnoldas, Adviser, Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament (Eastern Partnership, European Neighbourhood Policy East, Euronest, Russia, Baltic Strategies, Western Balkans, Asia)
Szanyi Tibor, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee
Terruso Filippo, Member of the Cabinet of the President of the Committee of the Regions
Udwin Emma, Deputy Head of the Cabinet of the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
Wagner Peter, Head of the Support Group for Ukraine, European Commission
The UWC President also met with the following individuals:
Pomianowski Jerzy, Executive Director, European Endowment for Democracy
Techau Jan, Director of Carnegie Europe
Tochytskyi Mykola, Ambassador of Ukraine to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, Ambassador of Ukraine to Belgium
In the photo from left: Miroslav Lajčák and Eugene Czolij