UWC President meets with Ukrainian community and governing authorities in Bulgaria
October 15, 2012
UWC PRESIDENT MEETS WITH UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY AND
GOVERNING AUTHORITIES IN BULGARIA
On October 3-5, 2012, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij travelled to Sofia, Bulgaria, where he familiarized himself with local Ukrainian community life and discussed current Ukrainian issues with governing authorities.
The UWC President’s visit was organized by the Maty-Ukrayina Foundation chaired by Olena Koceva.
Eugene Czolij first met with the leadership of the Maty-Ukrayina Foundation. Discussions revolved around the successes and challenges faced by the Ukrainian community, primarily the establishment of a national representation titled Association of Ukrainian Organizations in Bulgaria Maty-Ukrayina and its future membership in the UWC, and the importance of securing premises for community activities.
Subsequently, Eugene Czolij held a series of meetings with high-ranking government officials. In a meeting with the Foreign Policy Secretary to the President of Bulgaria, Tihomir Stoytchev, and the Director of the Directorate “European states” of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Bulgaria, Hristo Georgiev, the UWC President discussed the need for Ukraine’s Euro-integration and democratization, the significance of the Parliamentary elections in Ukraine later this month, the urgency for ceasing the pressure being exerted on its mass media and releasing political prisoners, particularly Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko. Accompanied by leaders of the Maty-Ukrayina Foundation, the UWC President met with a representative of the capital city’s administration, Executive Director of the Sofia Development Association Svetlana Lomeva. The delegation discussed several issues, including the erection of a monument honoring the victims of the Holodomor of 1932-33, landscaping of the area surrounding the Taras Shevchenko monument, and the clean-up of the surroundings of the territory around the memorial plaque dedicated to Ukrainian academic Mykhailo Drahomanov. A letter from the Ukrainian community highlighting these and other issues addressed to the Mayor of Sofia was presented during this meeting. Eugene Czolij also requested that governing authorities in Bulgaria provide facilities for the activities of the Ukrainian community.
In addition, the UWC President discussed current issues with members of the Ukrainian diplomatic corps – Oleksandr Lapskyi and Iryna Kozyk, asking that they actively respond to the needs of the Ukrainian community in Bulgaria.
During a community meeting, Eugene Czolij had an opportunity to present the activities of the UWC and better familiarize himself with the activities of Ukrainians in Bulgaria.
The trip also included a visit to the Taras Shevchenko monument, the grave sites of renowned Ukrainian sculptor Mykhailo Paraschuk and academic Mykhailo Drahomanov, a memorial plaque dedicated to the latter, and the Embassy of the Ukrainian National Republic.
The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 33 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.