2014-02-25 15:42:41

Ukrainian Major Archbishop appeals for solidarity and warns the danger of civil war is not over

(Vatican Radio) The Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has made a heartfelt appeal to European Nations for solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine.

Speaking at a press conference held on Tuesday at Vatican Radio, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk denounced the fact that the cry of the Maidan protesters went largely unheard and ignored until the explosion of violence last week that left some 100 people dead, and thousands more injured.

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He said that Ukraine is now living through a dark time because nobody knows how the situation is going to evolve…

But he also said it also a moment of great hope because Maidan has become a yeast that has caused the whole Ukrainian population to ferment.

After recounting at length and in detail the chain of events set off on November 29th when the President refused to sign a pact with the EU, Archbishop Shevchuk made an appeal for solidarity.

“I would like to ask Europeans to wake up because what is happening in Ukraine, sooner or later, will touch all of you. Because Ukraine is part of Europe. And if people continue to pretend that nothing is happening, not only will things worsen in Eastern Europe, but this will cause great lack of faith in European values in the Western nations”.

“I would also like to ask for a review of the relations with Ukraine”. Achbishop Shevchuk says the problem of visas required by Ukrainian students and the great difficulties they have to face when they want to enter other European countries has already been considered and should again come under examination.

“We want to build Europe in Ukraine, and only the students can do that” – so he says – “Europe does not have to defend itself from Ukrainian youth”.

Shevchuk also appealed for solidarity and help for the many thousands who have been wounded during the Maidan uprising.

He says many countries including Poland, Lithuania, the Czech republic and Slovakia have already offered to receive the wounded. And he makes an appeal to Italy to do the same.

Shevchuk expresses his gratitude to Germany, Poland and France for having sent their foreign ministers to Ukraine to act as peace mediators in the most difficult moment of the standoff. But he warns “this kind of solidarity must continue because the danger that one of our neighbours will provoke a civil war has not blown over”.

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