On 23 February 2017 in Vienna, Austria, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij addressed a side event in the framework of the 16th Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on the topic “Strengthening energy security in the OSCE region.”
Addressing the side event of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session, the UWC President highlighted the need to lessen the energy dependence on the Russian Federation which grossly violates international agreements, including the UN Charter, Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and Minsk agreements, openly ignores the principles of peaceful co-existence and demonstrates to the world its imperialist ambitions that threaten peace and security in Europe and beyond its borders. Eugene Czolij drew attention to the fact that the Russian Federation repeatedly took advantage of energy dependence as an instrument with which to pressure and intimidate not only Ukraine, but EU member states. In this regard, he called upon OSCE member states to diversify channels for receiving energy resources, and to not limit their source of energy to one country. The UWC President noted that Ukraine has not purchased Russian gas for over one year, having made arrangements to purchase energy from other countries. He also called to expand the network of gas reserves which would be another step in furthering energy security.
In his address the UWC President supported the draft resolution on strengthening energy security in the OSCE region which is intended to strengthen the role of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in developing long term cooperation and approaches based on general principles and values.
The side event on the topic of strengthening energy security in the OSCE region was organized by the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
The other panelists at this side event were Member of the Permanent Delegation of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Olga Bielkova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraineto Austria Olexander Scherba, and senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center Alan Riley.
Accompanying the UWC President to this side event was Director of the UWC Mission to International Organizations in Brussels Maryna Iaroshevych.
“The Ukrainian World Congress strongly recommends that OSCE member states not rely on Russian gas as source of energy to avoid being subjected to Russian pressure tactics that involve gas being used as a political weapon,” stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
A video with excerpts of the remarks of the UWC President can be seen HERE.
In the photo from left: O. Scherba (third), O. Bielkova (fourth), A. Riley (fifth) and E. Czolij (sixth)