UWC President meets with high-ranking Estonian officials

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December 9,2013 160

9 December 2013


UWC President meets with high-ranking Estonian officials

On 30 November – 2 December 2013 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij travelled to Tallinn where he met with the Speaker of the Parliament of Estonia Ene Ergma, Member of the European Parliament from Estonia Tunne Kelam, Vice Chancellor of the Ministry of Culture of Estonia Anne-Ly Reimaa and the Advisor on International Relations Madis Yarv, Chair of the Estonia‑Ukraine Parliamentary Group Tõnis Palts, Ukrainian Ambassador in Estonia Viktor Kryzhanivsky, as well as with the local Ukrainian community.


During his meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Estonia, Ene Ergma, the UWC President focused on recent events in Ukraine. He first emphasized that, with many widespread protests in Kyiv and throughout Ukraine, the Ukrainian people demonstrated against the decision of Ukraine’s governing authorities to change course from Euro-integration in favour of closer relations with Russia. In conjunction with the violent beatings by the militia of peaceful participants of protest actions on 30 November 2013, Eugene Czolij called upon Estonia to demand that Ukraine’s governing authorities stop violating human rights and fundamental freedoms. In addition, the UWC President stated that the most concrete show of support for the Ukrainian people during this critical time would be a reaffirmation that the EU has heard the voice of the people and is prepared to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. He also noted the importance of developing clear measures to counteract Russia’s violation of its international obligations, particularly the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, with which Russia committed to refrain from economic pressure on Ukraine. Upon conclusion of the meeting, Eugene Czolij remitted to the Speaker of the Parliament a Certificate of Acknowledgement for her support of issues of importance to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, including the Ukrainian community in Estonia. The UWC President and the President of the Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia, Vira Konyk, also presented Certificates of Acknowledgement to the Parliament of Estonia for the recognition in 1993 of the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people.


Eugene Czolij discussed these issues with the Chair of the Estonia-Ukraine Parliamentary Group Tõnis Palts, and Member of European Parliament from Estonia Tunne Kelam with whom he had the opportunity to view the Holodomor exhibit in the Museum of Occupations.


Recent events in Ukraine were also the focus of the UWC President’s meeting with the Ukrainian community in Estonia, whom he encouraged to support the Ukrainian people on their path to Euro‑integration and democratization.


In a meeting with Ambassador Viktor Kryzhanivsky, Eugene Czolij called on the governing authorities of Ukraine to immediately cease the use of all force against peaceful demonstrators and to sign the EU‑Ukraine Association Agreement.


The UWC President also participated in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the UWC member organization, Ukrainske Zemliatstvo v Estonii, during which he delivered greetings. He also had the opportunity to speak about Ukrainian community life in Estonia with the Vice Chancellor of the Ministry of Culture of Estonia Anne-Ly Reimaa and the Advisor on International Relations Madis Yarv.


Eugene Czolij commented on current events in Ukraine in an interview on Estonian television.

The UWC extends gratitude to the President of the Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia, Vira Konyk, for assisting with the organization of this trip.

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