UWC President Eugene Czolij concluded visit to Slovakia
On 25-26 February 2018, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij, on the invitation of UWC member organization Union of Ruthenians-Ukrainians of the Slovak Republic,fulfilled a visit to Bratislava with the goal of strengthening cooperation with high-ranking state officials and the Ukrainian community in Slovakia in furthering current Ukrainian issues.
In meetings with high-ranking state officials, the UWC President expressed gratitude to Slovakia for its support of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression.
In addition, in presenting important Ukrainian issues to high-ranking officials Eugene Czolij emphasized the scale of the hybrid war of the Russian Federation which poses a serious threat for all of Ukraine, and for the peace and security in Slovakia and the entire world. In this context, he focused attention on the numerous violations of the human rights of the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar peoples on the illegally occupied by the Russian Federation territories of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Further, the UWC President called upon Slovakia to strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation until it fully complies with the Minsk agreements and de-occupies Crimea; support the deployment of an OSCE monitoring or remote monitoring mission to illegally occupied Crimea and a UN peacekeeping mission to the Donbas; and adopt Magnitsky legislation for human rights violations including in Crimea. Eugene Czolij also urged Slovakia’s high-ranking officials to not attend World Cup soccer games in the Russian Federation, thereby expressing solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their fight with this aggressor-state. With this, the UWC President noted the significant progress in reforms already implemented in Ukraine in various spheres of life. He also called for Slovakia to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 as a genocide of the Ukrainian people.
On 25 February 2018, Eugene Czolij attended Divine Liturgy in the Slovak Greek Catholic Church where he met with the Eparch of the eparchy of Bratislava, Bishop Petro Rusnak.
On this day, the UWC President paid tribute to renowned Ukrainians Taras Shevchenko and Hryhoriy Skovoroda at a respective memorial and commemorative plaque in Bratislava.
In addition, Eugene Czolij met with the Ukrainian community in Slovakia during a meeting organized by the Union of Ruthenians-Ukrainians of the Slovak Republic chaired by Petro Sokol. During the meeting, the UWC President presented the main priorities of the UWC related to supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, familiarized himself with local community life and discussed means of continued cooperation with the UWC.
While in Bratislava, the UWC President was accompanied by Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych. In individual meetings Eugene Czolij was joined by Ambassador of Ukraine in the Slovak Republic Yuri Mushka and President of the Union of Ruthenians-Ukrainians of the Slovak Republic Petro Sokol.
“The visit to Bratislava was successful and offered an opportunity to constructively discuss important Ukrainian issues and means of further cooperation,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of officials with whom the UWC President met:
Bishop Peter (Rusnak), Вishop of Bratislava for the Catholics of the Byzantine Rite
Duleba Alexander, Director of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association
Koziak Vít, Director of the Foreign Policy Department of the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic and Senior Advisor of the President of the Slovak Republic for foreign policy
Krajkovič Mikuláš, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Head of the Slovakia-Ukraine Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group
Mikloš Ivan, Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Group for Support of Ukrainian Reforms, Chief economic adviser to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman
Mushka Yurii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine in the Slovak Republic
Ondrejcsák Róbert, State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic
Šafin Marek, Director of the Department of East Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Yar Lucia, Senior Editor at EurActiv Slovakia
Žilinčík Pavol, Member of the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic, Head of Human Rights Protection Department at the Office of Public Defender of Rights (Ombudsman) of the Slovak Republic
In the photo from left: M. Iaroshevych, E. Czolij and R.Ondrejcsák