MFA finalizing strategy of creating global Ukrainian space - ambassador

MFA finalizing strategy of creating global Ukrainian space - ambassador

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, together with other agencies, is finalizing the strategy of creating a global Ukrainian space, where every Ukrainian would feel apart of the global Ukrainian family and will help their home country on the path to Victory and recovery, and will also be willing to eventually return home at some point.

Maryana Betsa, Ambassador-at-large for World Ukrainian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told an Ukrinform correspondent about the three directions of work in this regard.

She noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the instructions of President Zelensky, is currently restarting cooperation and interaction with global Ukrainians in view of the unprecedented challenges caused by Russia's full-scale invasion. For this purpose, a separate position of Ambassador for World Ukrainian Affairs has been created at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to which a staff diplomat was appointed.

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"My task is precisely to build a new interaction, new communication with Ukrainians, and to prepare an appropriate strategy for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding cooperation with global Ukrainians. Currently, this strategy is being finalized before it is presented for public discussion shortly," the ambassador said.

She formulated the main goal as the creation of a global Ukrainian space, where every Ukrainian, no matter where they are, would feel as part of the global Ukrainian family.

It is planned to ensure this interaction through three main areas.

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The first one is "strengthening of identity and prevention of assimilation of Ukrainians abroad", and providing ultimate assistance in the realization of linguistic, educational, cultural, and religious rights.

The second area is the direct protection and lobbying of Ukraine's interests around the world. It was amid Russian aggression, since 2014, and especially after the full-scale invasion, that it became clear how powerful the voice of Ukrainians is in the world, the MFA official noted. As an example, she mentioned rallies in support of Ukraine, volunteer efforts, crowdfunding for humanitarian aid, rehabilitation for the Ukrainian military, search for drones, and other efforts.

"And we understand that every Ukrainian in the world is in fact a people's ambassador of Ukraine," Betsa emphasized.

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The third dimension, according to her, engaging Ukrainians around the world in reforming and restoring Ukrain. This, the ambassador admitted, is an extremely difficult direction, which is currently still being worked out.

"We understand how critical it is for us to see our people return in the future. Ukraine needs our citizens, we need foreign citizens who are ethnic Ukrainians. It strengthens us as a state. Their engagement is an important contribution to our future Victory," Betsa emphasized.

She noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to find the right mechanisms and create, together with other executive authorities, conditions or prerequisites for the future return of Ukrainians and their reintegration and participation in the country’s life.

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Within the scope of her mandate, Betsa is currently on an international tour, learning more about Ukrainian communities abroad. I’ve already visited Poland, Belgium, and the World Ukrainian Summit in Bucharest, where about 200 participants from 70 countries were represented.

"It was extremely important for me to communicate directly with the communities from different countries, especially those distant regions that are still very important for us, such as Latin America, Africa, Asia, of course, but also from Europe, the USA and Canada," said the diplomat.

Betsa believes this format of direct dialogue is important and useful. The conference, which precedes the big Recovery Conference in June, became a platform for extensive networking as numerous organizations operating in Germany are “young, energetic, active, and absolutely ready to engage in various formats of cooperation on recovery and other mechanisms that will bring closer Ukraine to victory,” said the ambassador.

"We want to build a strategic partnership so that we work as partners – the government and all Ukrainians living abroad – in realizing foreign policy interests and rebuilding Ukraine. To this end, an honest, open dialogue is needed," the MFA official emphasized.

Betsa took part in the conference "Diaspora and global Ukrainian community - strong partners in the recovery of Ukraine", held in Berlin this week.

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