UWC President Meets with Lithuania’s Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament, and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs
November 14, 2011
UWC PRESIDENT MEETS WITH LITHUANIA’S PRIME MINISTER, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT, AND VICE-MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
On November 7, 2011, during a visit to Vilnius, Lithuania, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij held official meetings with Lithuania’s Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, Speaker of the Parliament Irena Degutiene, and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Evaldas Ignatavicius.
The meetings,also attended by the President of the Ukrainian Community in Lithuania, Viktor Cernisuk, focused on issues related to the current events in Ukraine, including the prospects for its integration into European structures.
The UWC President expressed gratitude for the recognition by Lithuania in 2005 of the 1932-33 Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people and for the country’s attention to Ukrainian issues. More specifically, he focused on the deterioration of democracy in Ukraine and the violations of fundamental freedoms and human rights, including the persecution of political opponents.
In light of Lithuania’s chairmanship of the OSCE until the end of 2011, the UWC President called for Lithuania to support Ukraine’s European integration and the initialing of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine by the end of the year, which wouldenhance Ukraine’s future democratization and Europeanization. In addition, he encouraged the Lithuanian governing authorities to promote the benefits of EU membership throughout Ukraine during official visits, particularly during presentations at universities and town hall meetings.
Eugene Czolij also focused on the need for EU financing of NGO projects aimed at strengthening civil society in Ukraine. Emphasizing the importance of the 2012 Parliamentary elections in Ukraine, the UWC President called upon Lithuania to organize a large international observer mission, including representatives of Ukrainian NGOs.