On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the murders in Babyn Yar, Israeli President Isaac Herzog will make his first official visit to Ukraine, according to the Israeli Embassy in Ukraine.”During his official visit to Ukraine, President Herzog will speak at events dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre, meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, address the Verkhovna Rada and meet with representatives of the Ukrainian Jewish community. The visit is expected on October 5 to 7, 2021,” the embassy said in the statement, which was provided to Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.
The Duke will arrive in Ukraine on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, on the first official visit of his presidency, at the invitation of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During the visit, President Herzog will take part in the official international ceremony dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the murders at Babyn Yar, the opening of Kyiv Holocaust Memorial Center in Babyn Yar. Zeev Elkin, a government representative in Ukraine, and other members of the Knesset will also join the presidential delegation, the embassy said.
“There is a need to keep talking about this terrible event and learning its lessons. The Holocaust Memorial Center at Babyn Yar is an important place to celebrate this painful memory and to make a statement that we must continue to make together: never again. The only way to build a present and a future in which crimes against humanity will not find support – it is to study the past, including the Holocaust and the persecution of the Jewish people, in the spirit of the commandment “and you will tell your son and daughter.” I welcome the invitation of President Zelensky and his dedication to the war against anti-Semitism,” the embassy said.
On the morning of Tuesday, October 5, President Herzog will fly to Ukraine, where he will start his visit by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kyiv, and then go to an official reception at the Mariinsky Palace, which will start with a guard of honor.
Later, President Herzog will meet with President Zelensky. The meeting will be followed by a joint press statement. In the evening, President Zelensky will receive President Herzog at an official dinner.
On Wednesday morning, President Herzog will address the Verkhovna Rada. On the same day, President Herzog will take part in an event with the local Jewish community and will meet with President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who will also attend the Babyn Yar memorial ceremony.
On Wednesday afternoon, President Herzog will deliver a speech at the official ceremony to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar murders at the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center in Kyiv, the embassy said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a meeting with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven, at which he thanked him for participating in the inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform and for sustainable support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Zelensky received an invitation to visit Sweden.
According to the press service of the head of state, Löfven said that the summit of this initiative is a powerful signal of the need to de-occupy Crimea both from the outside and for the Ukrainian society.
Zelensky expressed his sincere gratitude to the Swedish side for assistance in organizing an exposition of values important for Ukrainian statehood – the original Constitution of the Hetman Pylyp Orlyk of 1710 and the Hetman’s mace, which are now exhibited in Sofia Kyivska.
The Head of State and the Swedish Prime Minister discussed further interaction on the agenda of Ukraine’s relations with the EU and prospects for cooperation within the framework of NATO’s Enhanced Opportunities Partnership.
Security policy issues related to the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project by Russia have become separate topics for a substantive dialogue.
The parties also discussed the tense situation on the borders of Belarus with neighboring countries due to the growth of the flow of illegal migrants and the Russian exercises “West-2021”, which worsen the security in the region.
The President of Ukraine informed his interlocutor about the situation in Donbas and thanked the Swedish side for the projects implemented by the defense departments, in particular in the field of mine clearance.
In addition, Zelensky, during a discussion of the possibilities of filling bilateral relations with specific projects, invited the Swedish side to take part in the creation of a network of waste processing plants in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister of Sweden noted the progress of Ukraine in the implementation of important reforms.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced the introduction of a new Ukrainian holiday – the Day of Ukrainian Statehood.
“We are starting to celebrate the Day of Ukrainian Statehood. We consider its starting point the year of the establishment of Kyiv – the capital of Kyivan Rus – Ukraine, which is for a reason called the place where everything begins,” Zelensky said during a speech at the parade in honor of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence.
“We will celebrate the birth of our statehood on the day of our statehood flourishing – on the day of the baptism of Kyivan Rus – Ukraine,” he said, adding that “he signs a corresponding decree today, on August 24.”
The President also said that “Ukraine is starting the process of returning to their native land outstanding Ukrainians who lived for Ukraine, fought for Ukraine and were not buried in Ukraine.”
President of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) Gianni Buquicchio called for accelerating the reform of the judiciary in Ukraine, and also noted that the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) should be “safeguarded at any cost.”
“The judiciary reform must be comprehensive. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has been working on this reform in Ukraine for decades already, without real success,” Buquicchio said at the Democracy in Action: Zero Corruption Conference on Tuesday.
He stressed that the NABU must be safeguarded at any cost. “Because they have done a good job and they must continue to do their job,” the President of the Venice Commission said.
“Vetting the High Council of Justice and selecting new good members is a priority. The High Qualifications Commission is also a priority. But they two are interlinked, and I think it is much more important that the Council is vetted and reformed, in order to select good members of the High Qualifications Commission,” Buquicchio said.
According to him, the reform is also urgent, because Ukraine lacks 2,000 judges, and next year there will be another 1,700 judges who will retire by that time.
“This means that the judiciary will operate with half of its personnel. All these issues are urgent, and what I hope that the government and the parliament will do is to accelerate these reforms,” he said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky offered French President Emmanuel Macron to sign a declaration of support for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.
“We have made a declaration that we conclude with partner countries, member states of the European Union, in which this or that country signs a declaration with us, indicating its support of Ukraine in striving to be a member of the European Union. Frankly speaking, several countries have already signed this declaration. There are countries that are now reviewing this declaration. I told the details of this declaration. I suggested that France also support Ukraine. I believe that President Macron will get acquainted with this declaration and give his answer,” Zelensky said at a briefing on the results talks with French President Macron in Paris on Friday.
Zelensky also said the Declaration on the European Perspective of Ukraine is an initiative of our state, which “does not want to wait until everything is done for us.”
“We are very proactive in Ukraine. We do not wait for everything to be done for us. We ourselves are taking concrete steps,” Zelensky said.
As reported, on March 18, a meeting of the presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania took place, during which they signed a Declaration on the European perspective of Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called the proposal of U.S. President Joe Biden to hold a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a third country as correct, since this dialogue could “resolve a number of issues.”
“I believe that this [Biden’s intention to meet with Putin on the territory of a third country] is correct. This is very […] timely, very important […] I think this could solve a number of issues, because there should be a dialogue between these countries. Sometimes, when such large states do not communicate, others suffer. Believe us, we understand that,” Zelensky said at a briefing following talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Friday.
At the same time, Zelensky said that if during the meeting the leaders of the United States and Russia raise the issue of Ukraine, which may well be relevant, then the discussion will not be “so substantive and correct.”
“It [the issue of Ukraine] will not be substantive, it will not be correct, and this will once again show that large countries are in size, they think that everything is around them, but it seems to me that the world is much larger,” the president said.