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Ukrainian Association in Finland meets with Finnish President

#DiasporaNews
May 17,2024 408
Ukrainian Association in Finland meets with Finnish President

The leadership of the Ukrainian Association in Finland (UAF) met with President Alexander Stubb. The event, initiated by the Office of the President, included a delegation comprising Vasyl Hutsul, Chairman of the UAF Board, along with his deputies Arseniy Svyarenko and Nadiya Maksymyuk.

The meeting addressed support for Ukraine, the experiences of integration, and aid to the Ukrainian community. The Ukrainian Armed Forces thanked Finland for its firm stance and efforts in assisting Ukraine amidst Russia’s war on Ukraine. 

We welcome the signing of the Agreement on security cooperation and long-term support between the Republic of Finland and Ukraine.  We thank Finland for its commitment to ensuring long-term support for Ukraine’s security, resilience, and reforms. Finland’s support of Ukraine’s EU and NATO integration is vitally important for Ukraine. We are grateful for Finland’s support of displaced persons who arrived in Finland from Ukraine. We very much welcome Finland’s active participation in the investigation of war crimes and close cooperation with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. We very much appreciate the President’s continued efforts to bring russia to justice for committed war crimes in Ukraine and for damages inflicted in Ukraine,” said Vasyl Hutsul.

The parties also discussed the development of Ukrainian-language infrastructure and support for cultural ties with Ukraine. UAF leaders expressed concern about the risks of the Russification of Ukrainians due to many institutions in Finland providing services to Ukrainians in Russian. They emphasized the importance of preserving the Ukrainian language and culture.

Displaced persons and refugees are always a vulnerable group. In Finland, the organizations that for decades worked in the interests of russia and with immigrants from Russia are openly exploiting the vulnerability of displaced persons from Ukraine. These organisations received substantial funding from the Finnish state through STEA and use this funding to russify Ukrainians and to weaken their Ukrainian identity. The state financing of such organizations leads to the weakening of organizations of Ukrainians. We encourage introducing two obligatory requirements for state funding for organisations that promote russian culture. Such organizations must: (1) officially condemn russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and (2) if they are providing services to persons from Ukraine these services must be in Ukrainian language,” UAF leaders said.

After the joint victory over Russia, the return of Ukrainians will play a crucial role in rebuilding Ukraine. “We wish that Finland’s policy will be aimed at encouraging the return of Ukrainians by helping to restore Ukraine and creating favorable conditions in Ukraine, and not at potential restrictions on the stay of Ukrainians in Finland,” said UAF representatives.

The UAF leadership emphasized the positive experience of the Ukrainian community’s adaptation in Finland. “It was very important for us to hear about further support for Ukraine and Ukrainians,” added Nadiya Maksymyuk, Yle writes.

Cover: Alexander Stubb on Facebook

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