Cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and Greece
Cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and the Hellenic Republic is based on the core of the bilateral intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the spheres of culture, education and science (1996). Such cooperation proceeds on the basis of the Agreement, as well as on the Programs of Cooperation outlined in the Agreement, which are directed towards facilitating cooperation in the areas of mass media, education, science, language training, as well as supporting cultural, sports and youth activities. The existing legal framework provides for effective and comprehensive development of all areas of bilateral humanitarian cooperation, fostering the introduction of traditions, history and the cultural heritage of Ukraine to the Greek public.
An important factor in solidifying the friendly relations between Ukraine and Greece is the countries’ intensive humanitarian ties, as well as the presence of a Ukrainian community in Greece and a Greek community in Ukraine. Currently, the Ukrainian diaspora numbers up to 25000 members. Ukrainians in Greece are unified in national-cultural associations, such as «Ukrainian-Greek Thought» (Athens), «The Land of Storks» (Athens), «Beregynia» (Athens), «Trembita» (Athens), «Ukrainians of Greece» (Athens),«Boristhen» (Athens), «Dzerelo» (Thessaloniki). A strong nucleus of the Ukrainian community in Greece is the St. Nicholas Greek Byzantine Catholic parish of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Athens. Three Saturday Ukrainian Schools and one Sunday Ukrainian Catehetical schools operate successfully in Athens. Their effective functioning is the result of enthusiasm and practical work of the Ukrainian community members to preserve the Ukrainian language, the country’s culture and traditions for future generations.
Important for the deepening of friendly relations between Greece and Ukraine, as well as for the preservation of the national and ethnic identity of Ukrainians living in Greece was the opening in 2010 in city Zografouand city Mandra – Idillia (Attika) of the monumentsto Ukraine’s national genius, poet and philosophe Taras Shevchenko.
The potential of Ukrainian-Greek cooperation in the field of higher education is actively being implemented. More than 20 direct agreements on cooperation between universities of Ukraine and Greece have been concluded. Many years of cooperation unite Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, National Aviation University, Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics, V.KarazinKharkiv National University, Kharkiv Polytechnic University, Kharkiv National Law Academy, Odessa National Maritime University, Ternopil Academy of National Economy, Mariupol State University with Greek State Universities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Yanina. Ukrainian and Greek universities also cooperate within the framework of the European Union programs.
The opening and beginning of the work in 2008 in Athens of the Culture and Information Center of the Embassy of Ukraine to the Hellenic Republic has opened new opportunities in the development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and Greece. The Center carries out work to present in Greece the Ukrainian national culture and possibilities of cooperation between two countries in different fields. Since its founding, the Center has already hosted more than 100 various cultural events, such as exhibitions, concerts and presentations.