Ukrainian World Congress President participates in Atlantic Council conference and meets with U.S. officials in Washington
On 20 March 2018, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij travelled to Washington, DC, to participate as a panelist in the Atlantic Council conference on Kremlin Aggression in Ukraine: Seeking Restitution for Private Property Seized and Destroyed, and to strengthen support for Ukraine with high-ranking U.S. government officials.
The conference held at the Atlantic Council Headquarters engaged a panel of experts to address the destruction and the forfeiture of many billions of dollars of Ukrainian commercial and private property as a direct consequence of the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine, and how Ukraine, Ukrainians, and other owners of property in Ukraine can use the court system to seek restitution for their property losses. Two panels addressed the topics “The Commercial Damage Wrought by the Kremlin’s Seizure of Crimea and War in Donbas” moderated by Editor of the Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert Melinda Haring, and “Seeking Compensation in the Courts” moderated by Director of the Atlantic Council Eurasia Center Ambassador John Herbst. The keynote address was delivered via video conference by Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Dmytro Shymkiv.
The UWC President, in his presentation during the panel entitled “Seeking Compensation in the Courts”, highlighted the available recourses against the Russian Federation for damage done to property in Crimea and Donbas before the European Court of Human Rights and Ukrainian courts. He also indicated that the international community must apply strong political pressure to ensure the execution of judgments rendered against the Russian Federation in view of its disregard for such judgments, including the one rendered by the European Court of Human Rights in the Yukos case which the Russian Constitutional Court declared, on 19 January 2017, to be allegedly in violation of the Russian constitution and therefore unenforceable.
On this day, Eugene Czolij also had the opportunity to meet with high-ranking U.S. government officials to discuss strengthened U.S. support for Ukraine in its struggle against the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation. Specifically, the UWC President emphasized the importance of providing defensive lethal weapons to Ukraine, imposing sectoral sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to its continued illegal occupation of Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine, and providing Ukraine the Membership Action Plan for NATO. Eugene Czolij also highlighted Ukraine’s impressive reforms and modernization in 2017, despite an enormous Russian disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting Ukraine as a failed state.
Eugene Czolij was accompanied at his meetings and conference of the Atlantic Council in Washington by President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) Andrew Futey, UCCA Executive Vice President and Director of the Ukrainian National Information Service Michael Sawkiw, and UWC Treasurer Zenon Potichny.
“The Atlantic Council conference and subsequent meetings provided an excellent opportunity to further raise awareness among U.S. policymakers of the devastating effects of the Russian hybrid aggression against Ukraine and the urgent need to actively support Ukraine in overcoming it, and ensuring thereby peace and security in the world,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of officials with whom the UWC President met:
Andrews Jorgan – Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Lamborn Doug – Member of U.S. Congress, Colorado, 5th District, Member of U.S. Congressional Ukrainian Caucus
Montgomery Molly – Special Advisor, Europe, Eurasia & Russia, Office of the U.S. Vice President
Roraff Brian – Deputy Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Volker Kurt – Ambassador, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, U.S. Department of State
Zappel Kimberly – Ukraine Desk Officer, U.S. Department of State
In the photo from left: A. Futey, E. Czolij, K. Volker, M. Sawkiw and Z. Potichny