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This site in Ukrainian Community Gathering with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia

After the sviatochniy apel of Plast and CYM on July 1, 2007 at the Ukrainian Youth Hall, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Council of NSW-Peter Lutak introduced the ambassador of Ukraine Mr. Valentyn Adomaitus, and his wife Ala, who was sitting in the audience with the ladies of Soyuz Ukrainok and Mrs Olya Kolomyjec.

Since the opening of the Ukrainian consulate in Canberra, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Council of NSW has been working very closely with the ambassador and employees of the consulate. At the beginning of the ambassador's speech, Mr. Adomaitus stated that “without Peter it would have been much harder for all of the staff and me to acclimatise to Canberra and for all of his help I am very grateful”.

The ambassador explained the origin of his not entirely Ukrainian name. Though his family background is Lithuanian, his family has lived in Ukraine and has long since “Ukrainianised”. The ambassador was born and raised in Ukraine’s capital and feels he is Ukrainian and, from his first sentence at the gathering, this was clearly apparent. Mr. Adomaitus spoke very strongly and fairly about events in Ukraine, and about his professional diplomatic career. He was an attaché of Ukraine to India and has a sound knowledge of the Asian-Indonesian-Australian regions. He is also a specialist in the affairs of the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in Ukraine.

Well acquainted with the work of the Diaspora in Australia, the ambassador gave high praise to the founders of our community and churches. In Ukraine, Ukrainian-Australians are very valued, perhaps more so than those in the United States or Canada, due to the fact that there are fewer Ukrainians in Australia. All of this is done in the name of Ukraine and is very much appreciated among the people in Ukraine.

The ambassador expressed some interesting thoughts. He strongly criticised people that mix into the internal affairs of Ukraine, and try to force upon us the so called imperativeness of the Russian language. But, similar to previous attaches’ and general consuls of Ukraine in Australia, he also views Russia as a strategic and economic partner of Ukraine. But he tried to convince us and emphasised the fact that since Victor Yuschenko has become president, he has promised that during his term in office, he would a make the matter of Ukraine entering the EU a top priority. And this is now occurring in Ukraine. For example, the summons under the name of Yalta’s European Strategy (YES) has the past few years been gathering the support of past presidents, influential politicians, as well as businessmen, intellectuals, educators and journalists, to lobby the interests of Ukraine to the EU.

Further, on Saturday, June 30 the most recent Yalta summit ended (detailed information related to this can be found elsewhere). The new ambassador of Ukraine to Australia feels that Ukraine will become a member of the EU, however needs to do this when it is ready to do so.

He believes that the energy supply/transit will become the currency of the future and Russia is doing everything possible to cut Ukraine out from being the transit pipeline for gas to Europe, as they did in 2006.

The ambassador considers the current political situation in Ukraine to be a trial of democratic strength. He believes that Ukraine will become a democratic country, in the whole entirety of the word, and that the corruption that exists will totally disappear.

The ambassador and his wife Ala Didenko have made a positive impression on our Diaspora. He and his wife took part in honouring the commander of UPA, Taras Chuprynka, and 65 years of the formation of the UPA (I anticipate that in October we will have a separate commemoration for this) - this is a sign of respect not only to the commander of UPA, but also to the past soldiers of UPA, to Ukraine, and its history.

We are delighted to welcome the new ambassador of Ukraine, and it will be interesting to follow his work in Australia.

In closing the meeting, I mentioned to the audience the proposal to recognise Roman Shukevych in Ukraine, and that the party “Our Ukraine”, in the words of Mr. Kyrylenko, request that President Yushchenko recognise the commander of UPA as a Hero of Ukraine. Those present upheld the proposal; a letter will be give to the Ambassador who promises to deliver the letter to the President.

Marichka Halaburda-Czyhryn
Translated by: Tanya Kostyk-Papa

  This site in Ukrainian

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