UWC President Eugene Czolij meets with President of the Parliament Olemic Thommessen, government officials and Ukrainian community in Norway
On 12-14 May 2016, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij travelled to Oslo, Norway, where he met with the President of the Parliament (Storting), Olemic Thommessen, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tone Skogen, government officials, representatives of civil society and the local Ukrainian community.
During these meetings, the UWC President extended congratulations on the most important national holiday in Norway, Constitution Day, and focused discussions on current Ukrainian issues. Eugene Czolij specifically emphasized that the Russian Federation, with its hybrid war in Eastern Ukraine, has created an international crisis and continues with its escalation. With this he noted that, by defending the borders of their state, the Ukrainian people are stopping the advance of Russian aggression further into Europe. The UWC President called upon Norwegian government officials to continue supporting Ukraine in the defence of its independence and territorial integrity, particularly by strengthening targeted sanctions against the Russian Federation until such time that it fully complies with the Minsk agreements and ends its illegal occupation of Crimea. He also called upon Norway to support the adoption of legislation akin to the Magnitsky Act to prevent the continued gross violations by Russian governing authorities of human rights and help free unlawfully imprisoned Ukrainian political prisoners. Eugene Czolij also highlighted the Russian disinformation campaign which attempts to discredit Ukraine and convince the world it is a failed state. With this in mind, the UWC President called upon Norway to combat Russian propaganda and support the reforms currently being implemented by Ukraine’s governing authorities.
Eugene Czolij also raised the role of Ukraine in defending European values and ensuring peace and stability in Europe during a meeting with the Director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo Kristian Berg Harpviken and Norwegian scholars.
The UWC President discussed with the Managing Director of the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce Amund Myklebust the importance of highlighting the ongoing reforms in Ukraine.
With the Executive Director of the European Wergeland Centre, Ana Perona-Fjeldstand, Eugene Czolij exchanged views on the Centre’s projects in Ukraine with respect to the development of reforms in education.
In a meeting with the Head of the City of Oslo Business Development Unit, Jan Fredrik Lockert, the UWC President raised the importance of providing premises for the Ukrainian community of Norway and initiating a twin-city relationship between Oslo and a city in Ukraine.
Eugene Czolij also had community meetings with non-governmental organizations, including the UWC member organization, Ukrainian Community in Norway, chaired by Yaroslava Sekala‑Gudmundsson.
While in Oslo, the UWC President was accompanied by Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Ukraine in Norway Oleh Hrabovetskyi and UWC Liaison Officer in the EU Maryna Iaroshevych.
“The trip to Oslo enabled a constructive dialogue with the governing authorities of Norway on strategic issues of security in Europe and contributed to strengthening ties with civil society,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.