UWC President Eugene Czolij fulfilled working visit to Belgium to strengthen support for Ukraine
On 27 February – 1 March 2018 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled a working visit to Brussels, Belgium, where he participated in events of the European Parliament and met with high-ranking officials of the European Union with the goal of strengthening support for Ukraine.
On 27 February 2018, the UWC President was co-chair and addressed an event titled “Human costs of Russian aggression in Ukraine” that was organized in the European Parliament (EP) by Chair of the EP Subcommittee on Security and Defence Anna Fotyga with the support of Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych.
Speaking at the event were Ukrainian defenders Oleg Kuzminykh, Sergiy Nedashkivskyy and Oleh Fedorchuk who informed about the Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine.
Also speaking were Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze and Members of European Parliament Anna Fotyga, Petras Auštrevičius, Mark Demesmaeker and Tunne Kelam.
In his address, Eugene Czolij highlighted that the Russian Federation has seized 7.2% of the territory of Eastern Ukraine and with its military actions has contributed to the deaths of 11,000 people including 2,500 civilians, 23,000 wounded and 1.6 million internally displaced persons. In addition, Russian aggression has negatively impacted the lives of close to 4.4 million Ukrainians of the 6.6 million living in the Donbas. The UWC President focused attention on the gross violations of human rights of Ukrainians in the Donbas and Crimea, and on the fact that, at the present time, there are over 100 Ukrainian hostages in the Donbas and over 60 Ukrainian political prisoners in the Russian Federation and Crimea. Eugene Czolij also highlighted the intensification of Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine and excerpted specific data from OSCE reports, specifically: 1) the increase in ceasefire violations from 320,130 in 2016 to 401,336 in 2017; 2) the increase in instances when weapons in violation of Minsk withdrawal lines were observed from 3,099 in 2016 to 4,065 in 2017; 3) the increase in impediments to the free movement of OSCE monitors from 1,950 instances in 2016 to 2,422 in 2017. The UWC President noted that the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation is also being furthered in the West. Testimony to this are the powerful cyber attacks, including the spreading of the NotPetya virus in Europe, Asia and the Americas costing billions of dollars; meddling in electoral processes, particularly in the USA and France, the financing of politicians, destabilization of processes in neighbouring countries, acts of terrorism and mass disinformation. Eugene Czolij called upon EU member states to take concrete measures that could, in addition to the provision of defensive lethal weapons by Canada and the USA, effectively contribute to stopping the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation.
Eugene Czolij also participated in a conference titled “Eastern Ukraine: A forgotten humanitarian crisis after 4 years of conflict”, organized by the European Commission and the UN in Brussels, and an event in support of Ukraine, “Laboratory of Ukraine”, organized by the Office for Ukrainian Research Centres in Brussels.
Over three days the UWC President had a series of meetings with high-ranking EU officials during which he called to encourage assistance from the international community for Ukraine in combatting the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation that grossly violates the international order and poses a threat of international magnitude. Eugene Czolij called to strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation, including its exclusion from the SWIFT financial network until it fully complies with the Minsk agreements; to support the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to Eastern Ukraine and a monitoring, or a remote monitoring mission to Crimea; to adopt Magnitsky legislation to address violations of human rights, including on the occupied territories of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea; to introduce an aid package similar to the Marshall Plan for the economic development and continued reform of Ukraine; and for high-ranking officials to refrain from travelling to World Cup football games in the Russian Federation. Particular emphasis Eugene Czolij placed on the significant progress of Ukraine in reforming important spheres of life such as education, healthcare and the rule of law, including reforming the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
Eugene Czolij also discussed support for Ukraine during a meeting with Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Vadym Chernysh.
During this official visit, the UWC President was accompanied by Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych. Deputy Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Dmytro Panchuk also participated in individual events and meetings.
“The Ukrainian World Congress calls upon the European community to strengthen its support for Ukraine and help it to overcome Russian hybrid aggression, and thereby, contribute to securing peace and stability in the world,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
View video of the address of the UWC President in the European Parliament on the topic “Human costs of Russian aggression in Ukraine” HERE.
List of individuals with whom the UWC President met:
Auštrevičius Petras, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Chair of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group
Chernysh Vadym, Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine
Corazza Bildt Anna Maria, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
Costello Daniel, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to the EU
Demesmaeker Mark, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Bureau of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Member of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee, Member of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
Fotyga Anna, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Bureau of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Gahler Michael, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Standing Rapporteur of the European Parliament on Ukraine
Harms Rebecca, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Co-Chair of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly
Karadjova Gergana, Minister Plenipotentiary, Representative of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Political and Security Committee of the EU
Keane Rory, Head of the UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security
Kelam Tunne, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats), Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Klympush-Tsintsadze Ivanna, Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration
Portman Giles, Head of East Stratcom Task Force at European External Action Service
Terruso Filippo, Member of the President’s Cabinet, European Committee of the Regions
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
Waschuk Roman, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Canada in Ukraine
Yevstratiy (Zoria), Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate
In the photo: European Parliament event: “Human costs of Russian aggression against Ukraine”