UWC President Eugene Czolij concludes visit to Brussels
31 January – 3 February 2018 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij concluded a working visit to Brussels, Belgium, where he addressed a conference in the European Parliament and a regional meeting of Ambassadors of Ukraine in Europe, and met with high-ranking officials of the EU, NATO, Belgium and Ukraine.
On 31 January 2018, the UWC President addressed a conference in the European Parliament on the topic “4 years of occupation – Ways to support Crimea and Crimean Tatars.” In his address he underscored the illegal occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, followed by its gross violations of the human rights of the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians, and the strengthened militarization of Crimea and the resulting potential threats to the international community. In conjunction therewith, the UWC President called for the international community to further strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation, including its exclusion from the SWIFT financial network and adopting legislation akin to the Magnitsky Act for the violations of human rights including in Crimea. Eugene Czolij also encouraged support for the deployment of an OSCE observer mission to illegally occupied Crimea. In addition, the UWC President urged high-ranking officials of governments and international organizations to boycott the games of the 21st World Cup of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association being played in the Russian Federation.
The above-noted topics, and the issue of Russian aggression in the Donbas the UWC President raised during meetings with high-ranking officials of the EU, NATO and Belgium. In this context, he called to support the deployment of an OSCE/UN peacekeeping mission to the Donbas. The UWC President also focused attention on the need to strengthen actions countering the disinformation campaign of the Russian Federation which not only attempts to weaken Ukraine domestically and damage its international reputation, but to undermine the unity of the international community. With this, the UWC President highlighted the recent significant reforms in Ukraine which are being realized while countering Russian military aggression. Eugene Czolij called for continued humanitarian aid for Ukraine and to support an investment package similar to the Marshall Plan for the economic development and further reform of Ukraine.
Issues related to the conclusions of the Venice Commission on the Law of Ukraine on Education, including its implementation, Eugene Czolij discussed with the Permanent Representative of Hungary to the EU.
On 3 February 2018, the UWC President, on the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, addressed a regional meeting of Ambassadors of Ukraine in Europe. In his address Eugene Czolij presented the primary work in support of Ukraine of the UWC and the Ukrainian diaspora. Also addressing the meeting on behalf of the UWC were UWC Vice President, Chair of the Coordinating Committee in Support of Ukraine and President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Paul Grod and Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych. Participants of the meeting discussed issues of common concern.
During his visit to Belgium the UWC President was accompanied by Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych and Deputy Director Dmytro Panchuk.
“The visit to Brussels was successful and enabled discussions with high-ranking officials of the EU, NATO and Belgium, as well as with Ukrainian and foreign diplomats, on current Ukrainian issues and the means by which to further them,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
Please view video of Eugene Czolij’s address at a conference in the European Parliament on the topic “4 years of occupation. Means of support for Crimea and Crimean Tatars” HERE.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
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
Boni Michał, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
Combe Matthieu, Counselor on Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Permanent Delegation of France to the EU
Costello Daniel J., Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to the EU
Czarnecki Ryszard, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Dassis Georges, President of the European Economic and Social Committee
Devigne Luc, Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia at the European External Action Service
Fotyga Anna, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence
Haggard Henry, Counselor for Political Affairs at the United States Mission to the European Union
Harms Rebecca, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Assembly EURONEST, Member of the European Parliament
Hobbs David, Secretary General of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Ildem Tacan, Ambassador, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy
Indekeu Jo, Director of Eastern and South East Europe and Central Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium
Ordyk Bogumiła, Ambassador, Political and Security Council Representative at the Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU
Pomianowski Jerzy, Executive Director of the European Endowment for Democracy
Portman Giles, Head of East Stratcom Task Force at European External Action Service
Prystaiko Vadym, Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Taivalantti Jani, Member of Cabinet of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini
Taschner Martin, Deputy Head of Unit on the Eastern Neighbourhood at the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission
Tochytskyi Mykola, Representative of Ukraine to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Várhelyi Olivér, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the EU, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Wagner Peter, Head of the Support Group for Ukraine at the European Commission
In the photo left to right: D.Panchuk, E.Czolij, D.Hobbs and M.Iaroshevych