UWC President meets with high-level government officials, civil society and Ukrainian community in Sweden
On 15-17 May 2016 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij fulfilled a working visit to Stockholm which he dedicated to strengthening ties and future cooperation of the UWC with high-level government officials, civil society and the Ukrainian community in Sweden.
During his three-day meetings with high-level government officials, the UWC President thanked Sweden for its clear position in support of the sovereignty and aspirations for Ukraine’s Euro-integration. He drew attention to the most immediate Ukrainian issues and questions of global security related to the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation which has illegally occupied Crimea and escalated a hybrid war in Eastern Ukraine, thus creating an international crisis. In this context, Eugene Czolij highlighted that today the Ukrainian nation is courageously defending the borders of its country from Russian imperialism and stopping its advance to the West. The UWC President urged Sweden to remain steadfast in the defence of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and in the support of its aspirations for Euro-integration. Eugene Czolij specifically called upon Sweden to broaden its 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 encouraged furthering the ratification by the European Union of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and reforms in Ukraine, and the implementation of а visa‑free regime for its citizens. With this, the UWC President called for Sweden to support the adoption of a law, similar to the Magnitsky Act, designed to prevent the continued gross violation by Russian governing authorities of human rights and assist in the effort to free Ukrainian political prisoners. On a separate note, Eugene Czolij emphasized the importance of countering the Russian disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting Ukraine, presenting it as a failed state.
During meetings with Director of the European Security Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Ian Anthony and Head of the Eurasia and Russia Program at The Swedish Institute of International Affairs Martin Kragh, the UWC President indicated that in defending its Eastern borders, Ukraine is ensuring peace and stability in Europe.
Eugene Czolij discussed the priorities for future cooperation during a community meeting organized by the Association of Ukrainian Women in Scandinavia led by Zoryana Kiktsö. A meeting was also held with the leadership of the Vatra – Ukrainian Association in Sweden led by Iryna Prysiazhniuk.
While in Stockholm, the UWC President met with Ambassador of Ukraine in Sweden Ihor Sagach and Minister of Culture of Ukraine Yevhen Nyshchuk.
The UWC President was accompanied during his visit to Sweden by Counsellor of the Embassy of Ukraine in Sweden Olena Polunina and UWC Liaison in the EU Maryna Iaroshevych.
“The meetings were constructive and offered the opportunity to strengthen on many levels the ties between the UWC and Sweden for continued cooperation in the defence of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and in securing peace and stability in Europe,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.