UWC President discusses the importance of Ukraine’s democratization with U.S. officials in Washington
9 March, 2013
On 6-7 March 2013, during a working visit to Washington, DC, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij discussed with high–ranking U.S. officials, diplomats of various countries and representatives of American analytical institutions the issues of Ukraine’s democratization and Europeanization which are important to that country, as well as to the strategic interests of both Europe and the U.S.A.
In that respect, the UWC President emphasized that the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will provide a stimulus for democratic, social and economic progress in Ukraine. At the same time, it will prevent Ukraine from being pulled into the Russia–dominated Customs and Eurasian Unions which pose the threat of creating a new Soviet Union. Eugene Czolij noted that in December 2012 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it [a new Soviet Union]”. Taking into account these words, he called upon high–ranking U.S. officials to use all available means of influence to ensure that Ukraine’s governing authorities revert, as quickly as possible, to democratic governance so as to enable the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
The UWC President discussed these issues with U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach, Co-chair of the Congressional Ukrainian CaucusBaxter Hunt, U.S.Department of State Director for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus Affairs; Michael Uyehara, U.S. Department of State Director, European Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Lyn Debevoise, Director for Eastern European Affairs, National Security at The White House; officials from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committees; John Herbst, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; and the Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Polish Ambassadors to the U.S., Oleksandr Motsyk, Zygimantas Pavilionis and Ryszard Schnepf.
During his meeting with Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S., the UWC President expressed his concern over the 6 March 2013 decision with which opposition party Batkivschyna People’s Deputy Serhiy Vlasenko was stripped of his parliamentary seat, a move which further distances Ukraine from the Euro-integration process. Eugene Czolij stated that “such actions threaten the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and that Ukraine’s governing authorities will have to answer for this to the Ukrainian people.”
While in Washington, Eugene Czolij gave an interview to Voice of America and delivered greetings to participants of a community gathering at the Embassy of Ukraine commemorating Taras Shevchenko.
The visit was organized by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Washington Bureau, the Ukrainian National Information Service, headed by Michael Sawkiw.
Photos with captions from the meetings are posted on the UWC web site.