risu.org.ua - On Monday, September 18, 2017 His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel participated in the meeting of the Ukrainian-American Community and the representatives of the Crimean Tatar organizations with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and his wife Maryna at the Ukrainian Museum in New York City, NY.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was represented at the meeting by Bishop Pavlo (Khomnitsky), Eparch of Stamford Diocese, Bishop Basil (Losten), Bishop Emeritus of Stamford Diocese, and representatives of secular and civic organizations.
The Head of Ukrainian State thanked foreign Ukrainians for their support and assistance. “Never in the history of the Ukrainian state, after the restoration of independence, has Ukraine felt such a great assistance and unity of all Ukrainians in the world aimed to implement the tasks the Ukrainian state faces today,” he emphasized. Petro Poroshenko recalled the creation of the new Ukrainian army, inter alia, with the assistance of the Ukrainians Diaspora. The Head of State noted the steps of the U.S. Congress to help Ukraine, including the decision to provide defensive weapons.
“This is not just a position that helps increase the price the Russian aggressor will pay for assuming the offensive. It also opens an opportunity for the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries to provide the same assistance for us. We are waiting for the political decision by the United States,” the President said adding that a huge progress had already been achieved in the negotiations.
He stressed: “Another importance of defensive weaponry is not just Javelin anti-tank missiles, we produce Stugna missile, which has a different principle, but still very efficient. We are talking about radioelectronic warfare system that presents irrefutable evidence of Russia’s crimes to the world – from where they open fire to kill our civilians, where and when, what is the caliber of the heavy weaponry they brought contrary to the Minsk agreements. After all, this evidence will help us form a legal position when the crimes of Russia will be considered in The Hague”. The President emphasized that “it is not just a weaponry, but a legal instrument of protecting the Ukrainian position”.
“Ukrainians are a peaceful nation. We do not want to kill anyone, but our state has paid a huge price – over 10 thousand Ukrainians, including 2700 Ukrainian warriors killed,” Petro Poroshenko noted. He emphasized that Ukrainians are a European nation and thanked the Ukrainian Diaspora in Europe for the joint work that allowed the ratification of the Association Agreement and the beginning of its implementation.
The Head of State informed on the course of reforms in Ukraine. In particular, the education reform has been approved recently. The President added that the Verkhovna Rada would continue the consideration of the judicial reform to create an independent judicial institution and return the right to the truth to Ukrainians.
The President drew special attention to the importance of supporting the Crimean Tatars. “We must jointly demonstrate that the problem of the Crimean Tatars is our common, that we are united and preserve solidarity. We are not going to put up with the actions of the aggressor and invader,” the Head of State noted.
Petro Poroshenko also recalled the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor and the importance of recognizing it as genocide. “We do not only defend Ukraine and Ukrainians who gave life for our independence, but also remember our history,” he said.
President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Andriy Futey noted that the Ukrainians present in the meeting paid great efforts to help the Homeland and defend the rights and freedoms of Ukrainians irrespective of their place of residence. He assured: “Our goal is one united community that can influence the decisions of the U.S. Government and Congress as regards their foreign policy and, thus, help in your bilateral efforts”. According to him, they will keep trying to convince the American government to provide lethal weapons, greater funding for the defensive, energy and humanitarian assistance, as well as support in the reforms.