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On Monday, the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma met the President of the Ukrainian World Congress Eugene Czolij in the Riigikogu and expressed her support for the work of the organisation, which unites 20 million Ukrainian expatriates across the world and stands for human rights.

Talking about the events in Ukraine, Ergma emphasised that the most important thing is to avoid violence and fatalities at the demonstrations that are taking place.

“The use of violence against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable! Ukrainian authorities must immediately start a dialogue with the opposition and the representatives of civil movements to avoid the escalation of the situation and to resolve the social tensions quickly,” Ergma said.

The two parties also discussed the European Union Eastern Partnership Summit that recently took place in Vilnius. “I am truly sorry that the Ukrainian authorities did to take advantage of the opportunity to sign an agreement which would basically have taken the relations and the cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union to a new level. The Ukrainian leaders failed to represent the wishes and views of the overpowering majority of their citizens, and decided in favour of other interests. The European Union is always ready for bilateral negotiations and reasonable compromises with Ukraine. However, the negotiation table with the European Union is not the place to make extortionate demands,” Ergma said. At the same time, Ergma admitted that Ukraine has an equation with many unknown denominators to solve and that this was a difficult task.

The President of the Ukrainian World Congress Eugene Czolij and the President of the Ukrainian Congress of Estonia Vira Konõk presented Ene Ergma with a certificate of appreciation for condemning the 1932–1933 genocide in Ukraine at the parliamentary level. Estonia was the first country to officially declare the famine that ravaged Ukraine in those years as a genocide against its nation.

The Riigikogu condemned the communist genocide policy in Ukraine in its 20 October 1993 statement. The communication to the Ukrainian people reads: “Dear Ukrainian friends! The Estonian nation stands beside the Ukrainian nation to commemorate together the victims of the horrible genocide that it suffered in 1932 and 1933”.

The Ukrainian World Congress unites organisations in 33 countries, including Estonia. There are nearly 28,000 Ukrainians living in Estonia, forming our second largest minority nation.

Pictures of the meeting 

The Riigikogu Press Service