On January 27, 2012, within the framework of the observance of the 2012 20thAnniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Hellenic Republic, the Ukrainian Embassy in Greece hosted a meeting of the Ambassador and other personnel of the Ukrainian diplomatic mission to Greece with students of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, who currently study or plan to study the Ukrainian language in its Slavic Department, their professors and laureates of Letters of Commendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Mr. Gerasimos Bougas, who is the First Vice President of the Greek social organization “Hellenic-Ukrainian Chamber”, participated in the meeting. Mr. Bougas is a supporter of Ukraine and for many years has assisted the Ukrainian Embassy in realizing its diverse activities in the humanitarian sphere.
In welcoming the participants of the event with this momentous occasion in the history of Ukrainian-Greek relations, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Hellenic Republic, Volodymyr Shkurov, underscored the constant development in all spheres of cooperation and the always friendly character of the countries’ relationship, which has been forged throughout the pages of history of the Ukrainian and Greek peoples, ancient, cultural and humanitarian relations and a united Orthodox religion.
The Ambassador went on to say that the uniqueness of the Ukrainian-Greek relation to a great degree is a function of the initiative of the nations’ communities in both countries and average Greeks and Ukrainians, the efforts of which cannot be ignored. He then presented the Letters of Condemnation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to the Priest of Ukrainian congregation of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Athens, the spiritual and social leader of the members of St. Nicholas in Athens, Fr. Taras Kohut, the Chairperson of the Association of the Ukrainian diaspora in Greece, Mrs. Halyna Masliuk and the Greek publisher of the bilingual (in Greek and Ukrainian) collector’s edition of the literary works of Taras Shevchenko, which includes articles about his life story and creative biography, Mr. Andonis Palios.
In addressing students and professors of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens the Ukrainian Ambassador gratefully acknowledged the decision of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens to teach the Ukrainian language. He also welcomed the students’ decision to study the Ukrainian language, both for personal development and facilitating further dissemination of information about the rich history and culture of both nations, as well as in light of perspectives which open up for experts in Ukrainian language the development of relations between the two countries in various fields of economy. Ambassador Shkurov wished the students and their professors success and continued achievement in their educational process. The head of the Ukrainian diplomatic mission, together with the First Vice President of the Hellenic Ukrainian Chamber, presented the Slavic Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with textbooks for teaching Ukrainian as a foreign language, which were received by the Embassy from Ukraine under the sponsorship of Mr. Bougas, bilingual (in Greek and Ukrainian) editions of the literature works published at the expense of this social organization, as well as the bilingual (in Greek and Ukrainian) collector’s edition of the literary works of Taras Shevchenko with essays about his life and creative legacy. The appearance of this collection in Athens in 2011 was the result of the efforts of the Ukrainian diaspora association in Greece “Ukrainian-Greek Thoughts”, and was warmly greeted by the President of Ukraine, Mr. Viktor Yanukovych, and the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Carolos Papoulias.
Following the students’ performance of poems and songs, the informal portion of the event was highlighted by friendly conversations of the guests with representatives of the Embassy and the viewing of documentary films about Ukraine.