UWC President Eugene Czolij concludes visit to the Republic of South Africa
On 27-31 October 2018 and 3-5 November 2018, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij, on the invitation of the Ukrainian Association of South Africa, which forms part of the UWC network, together with his spouse Anna Czolij, fulfilled a working visit to the Republic of South Africa (RSA). During this visit, the UWC President visited Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Pretoria where, during various appearances and meetings, he furthered topical Ukrainian issues.
On 28 October 2018, Eugene Czolij attended the Ukrainian festival where he extended greetings, in which he noted the importance of this event in popularizing Ukrainian culture and traditions and recognized the leading role of the Ukrainian Association of South Africa in its organization.
On 29 October 2018, the UWC President spoke during a seminar organized by the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry on the topic “Doing Business in Ukraine”. Eugene Czolij highlighted that Ukraine is a modern, European state which is actively reforming and has great economic potential, and he encouraged to invest in Ukraine and strengthen mutual trade ties. In addition, he had separate conversations on the topic with the President and Deputy President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
On 30 October 2018, the UWC President met with parliamentarians of the RSA, including the Chairperson of the Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, to whom he presented the current situation in Ukraine. Eugene Czolij also encouraged the RSA to cooperate with the international community to ensure compliance by the Russian Federation with the UN Charter and its international commitments. In addition, he informed about Ukraine’s significant achievements in reforms and modernization. The UWC President also called upon the RSA to strengthen bilateral relations with Ukraine, including economic and trade cooperation, and create a friendship group with parliamentarians in Ukraine.
On this day, the UWC President delivered an address on the topic of Ukraine at the South African Institute of International Affairs in Western Cape, during which he highlighted the European choice of the Ukrainian people during EuroMaidan and the reaction of the Russian Federation which occupied Crimea and waged armed actions in Eastern Ukraine. Eugene Czolij called upon the RSA to join international efforts to force the Russian Federation to comply with the UN Charter and its fundamental principles, and particularly to stop the military aggression in Eastern Ukraine and de‑occupy Crimea. He also presented the current significant reforms in Ukraine.
On 31 October 2018, the UWC President met with the leadership and representatives of the Ukrainian Association in South Africa chaired by Dzvinka Kachur. During their meeting, he presented the main priorities of the UWC, familiarized himself with the work of the Association, and discussed its future cooperation with the UWC.
On 1 November 2018, Eugene Czolij visited the Embassy of Ukraine in the RSA where he met with diplomats headed by Chargé d’Affaires Liubov Abravitova. The meeting involved discussions on the role of the global Ukrainian community in withstanding Russian hybrid aggression, including Ukrainians living in the RSA, Ukrainian community life in the RSA and cooperation between Ukraine and the RSA in various spheres.
On 4 November 2018, the UWC President held a community meeting with Ukrainians in Pretoria. During this meeting, Eugene Czolij familiarized the participants with the work of the UWC in support of Ukraine and called upon them for active cooperation with the UWC. Also discussed were internal matters of the community, including the celebration of liturgies in Ukrainian in the RSA and the opening of a Ukrainian Saturday school.
On 5 November 2018, the UWC President met with the Archbishop of Pretoria. During the meeting, Eugene Czolij informed the Archbishop about the Ukrainian community in the RSA and requested that clergy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church be allowed to celebrate liturgies in Roman Catholic churches in Pretoria and Cape Town.
During his visit to the RSA, the UWC President was accompanied by Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine in the RSA Liubov Abravitova and President of the Ukrainian Association in South Africa Dzvinka Kachur.
“The visit to the Republic of South Africa offered the opportunity to meet with local Ukrainians, learn about their community activities and needs, and strengthen ties between them and the Ukrainian World Congress,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
Abravitova Liubov, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Ukraine in the RSA
Basson Christian, Former Ambassador of the RSA to Ukraine
Bergman Darren, Member of RSA Parliament, Member of the Committee on International Relations and Cooperation
Camerer Sheila, Director of South African Institute of International Affairs in Western Cape
Essack Farhat, Member of RSA Parliament, Member of the Committee on Finance
Faber Willem, Member of RSA Parliament, Member of the Committee on Trade and International Relations
Jacobs Jonathan, Deputy President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Masango Moses, Member of RSA Parliament, Chairperson of the Committee on International Relations and Cooperation
Myburgh Janine, President and Chairperson of the Board of the Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Pienaar Sara, Former Director of the National South African Institute of International Affairs
Slattery William, Archbishop of Pretoria
In the photo: Meeting with Board of Directors and Members of the Ukrainian Association of South Africa, Cape Town
From left: O. Matviyas, T. Hurn, S. Sheremet, D. Kachur, E. Czolij, А. Czolij, T. Shylina, M. Swystowycz and N. Pryimak