“We want Ukraine to write its own success story,” said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to Ukraine Marius Janukonis at the meeting held at UzhNU
On Thursday, March 29, 2018. Marius Janukonis, Ambassador Extraordinary, and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to Ukraine visited UzhNU as part of his working visit to Transcarpathia. The meeting with the diplomat was attended by the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Lithuania in Uzhhorod and the Transcarpathian region Viktor Harapko, the Ukrainian military men, who had participated in the war with the Russian invaders, volunteers, and students of the military department of UzhNU.
The moderator of the meeting, the director of the NATO Information Center at UzhNU, Inna Turianyatsia noted that during his visit to Transcarpathia, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania could not avoid meeting the participants of the ATO: "We must win this war, the war of democracy against authoritarianism, good against evil. In this war, Ukraine is the outpost of Europe, therefore we really need the support of our foreign partners. Lithuania is the country that has been helping Ukraine since the first days of Russia's aggression."
The Vice-Rector of UzhNU for Academic Policy, Research, and International Relations Myroslava Lendel emphasized the importance of partnership relations between Ukraine and Lithuania in a very difficult period when Ukraine was facing Russian aggression. "The Lithuanian Republic, its leadership, and diplomats have unambiguously called the events in the east of Ukraine a war since their beginning in 2014. Lithuania has been providing a significant military, political and economic support to our country during the whole period of military activities, and we are very grateful for it. At present, Europe and the whole world begin to understand the whole scale of Russia's aggression, largely due to the work that was done by Ukraine and its allies, in particular, Lithuania," said Myroslava Lendel.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to Ukraine Marius Janukonis expressed gratitude for the opportunity to communicate with the soldiers who defended Ukraine in a dramatic time. "We know how important was the role of the Transcarpathian military men in the confrontation of Ukraine against Russia’s aggression. We have the utmost respect for you all for your struggle to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which Lithuania has always supported. We are trying to explain to our partners in the EU what is happening in Ukraine, perhaps because we have a little better understanding of who Ukraine is fighting with and what it is protecting in the confrontation with Russia’s aggression."
Marius Janukonis also noted that some groups of Europeans were somewhat "tired of Ukraine" and it was an objective process, since there were many other internal and external problems in Europe, but Lithuania was constantly trying to remind its partners of the need to support Ukraine.
Cooperation in the military sphere is particularly active, Lithuania was the first to provide assistance in rehabilitating ATO participants, and then other countries joined. There is also joint work going on together with Lithuanian military instructors, a joint Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian battalion is currently operating. Lithuania became the initiator of a kind of European "Marshall Plan" for Ukraine, which would contribute to the economic development of the country: "We want Ukraine to write its own success story. The economic growth and the arrival of investments are important. The economy of Ukraine has been stabilized, but it’s still not enough." said Marius Janukonis.
During the conversation about cooperation and assistance of Lithuania to Ukraine, the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Lithuania in Uzhhorod Viktor Harapko said: "It is obvious that the true neighbors are not the countries there is a common border with, but those who are ready to help in difficult times. Lithuania is the country that was the first to offer help. We have established a dialogue at the level of government and civic organizations."
Marius Janukonis thanked Ukrainian volunteers who defended Ukraine's independence together with the army in the most difficult period of 2014. As for rehabilitation projects, Marius Janukonis noted that Ukraine needed a national rehabilitation system, then it would be much easier for the states willing to help Ukraine to establish cooperation in this sphere.