On 22 February 2017 Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij concluded his four-day official visit to Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium, dedicated to mobilizing support for Ukraine and strengthening the UWC network.
On 20 February 2017 Eugene Czolij participated in the opening of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels, the main mandate of which is to further the European choice of the Ukrainian people.
On 21 February 2017, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, the UWC President addressed a meeting of the NATO Partnerships and Cooperative Security Committee with political advisers and deputy heads of missions on the topic of support for Ukraine in the war against Russian aggression.
Eugene Czolij also held a series of official meetings with high-ranking officials of the European Union (EU), NATO and Belgium. During these meetings he emphasized the need for decisive joint initiatives on the part of the international community, including harsh economic sanctions against the Russian Federation to stop it from violating the Minsk agreements. The UWC President also called for increased assistance to Ukraine for the defence of its borders and humanitarian assistance to overcome the consequences of Russian aggression. Eugene Czolij also noted the imperativeness of continuing the battle with Russian disinformation which attempts to convince the world that Ukraine is a failed state, and drew attention to Ukraine’s significant reforms. The UWC President also stressed the importance to conclude the ratification process for the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and to expedite implementation of the visa-free regime for Ukrainian citizens.
In addition, Eugene Czolij addressed the seventh coordinating meeting of non-governmental organizations with representation in Brussels that deal with Ukrainian issues, chaired by the Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych. The UWC President thanked the non-governmental organizations for their support for Ukraine and called for continued coordinated cooperation.
Eugene Czolij attended Divine Liturgy and requiem for the Nebesna Sotnia Heroes, celebrated by Fr. Ruslan Pikh, Pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle and St. Nicholas of Myra community (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) in Antwerp and met with the local Ukrainian community.
The UWC President was accompanied by Acting Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO Yehor Bozhok, Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych and Deputy Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Dmytro Panchuk.
“The Ukrainian World Congress calls upon the international community to take decisive actions in support of Ukraine’s defence of its territorial integrity, which will ensure peace and stability in Europe,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
A Radio Svoboda interview with UWC President Eugene Czolij about his visit to Belgium is available HERE.
List of officials with whom the UWC President met:
Belliard Jean-Christophe, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, European External Action Service
Bozhok Yehor, Acting Head of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO
Briens Mathieu, Member of the Cabinet of Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
Costello Daniel, Ambassador of Canada to the EU
Dassis George, President of the European Economic and Social Committee
de Gooijer Pieter, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the EU
Dóczy Michael, Member of the Cabinet of Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations
Fr. Pikh Ruslan, Redemptorist, Pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle and St. Nicholas of Myra community (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) in Antwerp
Haglund Jesper, Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the European Parliament
Huhtanen Tomi, Executive Director of Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Ildem Tacan, Ambassador, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy
Indekeu Johan, Director of Eastern and South East Europe and Central Asia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium
Kobzova Jana, Head of Policy at Rasmussen Global
Lete Bruno, Transatlantic Fellow for Security and Defense at German Marshall Fund
McIntyre Graeme, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO
Mojkowska Urszula, Adviser to the President of the European Parliament
Portman Giles, Head of East Stratcom Task Force, European External Action Service
Shub Adam, Chargé d’Affaires, United States Mission to the EU
Tiurin Andrii, Director of the Energoatom Representative Office in Brussels
Tochytskyi Mykola, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the EU and Ambassador of Ukraine in Belgium and Luxembourg
Wagner Peter, Head of the Support Group for Ukraine at the European Commission
Wallau Alexander, Delegate of the Working Party on Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU
Wiseman Jason, Secretary General for the Atlantic Treaty Association
In the photo from left: T. Ildem and E. Czolij