On November 29, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko took part in the public session of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council of the European Union. This is the first time that Ukraine was represented at a meeting of this format by the Minister in person.
Despite the difficult conditions caused by russian aggression, Ukrainian culture is actively functioning. Theaters do not cancel premieres, philharmonics continue performances even in the dark, while pop musicians - in the subway, exhibitions and performances are opened. The Ukrainian cultural front is a real struggle for identity and culture.
"Currently, the focus of the allies' attention is countering russian information attacks and supporting Ukraine in the cultural sphere during russian full-scale aggression against Ukraine. At the same time, it is important for us, Ukrainians, as a natural historical part of Europe, to preserve our culture, which was, still remains and will be the basis and wealth of a stable, unified society of free, responsible, creative and happy people," said Oleksandr Tkachenko.
The Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine thanked the European Union for the unprecedented all-round support of Ukrainians, unity in sanctions against the aggressor state, which implements the policy of genocide, as well as for solidarity and perseverance in preserving democracy, freedoms, human values and the future of humanity.
"We demonstrate solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. And we are mobilized to preserve Ukrainian culture and heritage. We also continue to support Ukrainian artists and all those who work in the creative field. We sincerely thank Mr. Tkachenko for his clear and relevant presentation. We must strengthen cooperation and study needs. For me, as a Commissioner, it is very important to find the tools. Today, we have adopted the Work Plan for 2023-2026 and recorded an item on the protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage," said Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
Martin Baxa, Minister for Culture of the Czech Republic, during the final press conference, also assured that Europe would continue to help Ukrainian artists and support Ukrainian heritage.
"I would like to emphasize that in the 21st century, we are witnessing the barbarism demonstrated by russia for more than 9 months. putin is not only destroying the lives of innocent people, but also Ukrainian culture and cultural heritage. More than 850 cultural institutions were destroyed by russian attacks, which were mostly intentional, and dozens of thousands of Ukrainian artists lost a chance to be active. According to the Ukrainian authority, the overall damage exceeds 65 million euros. However, lost lives cannot be brought back. The attempt to destroy Ukraine cannot be successful," he said.
The Ukrainian Minister voiced key messages to the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Coucnil of the EU:
In addition to participating in the public session of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council of the EU and Debates on issues of support and solidarity with the culture of Ukraine, in particular cultural heritage, Oleksandr Tkachenko held a number of bilateral meetings with fellow ministers of the EU countries.