About a hundred of influential people took part in the opening of the Days of Ukraine in the United Kingdom. The official ceremony was held on a grand scale – in the British Parliament. For the occasion the Firtash Foundation rented the Churchill-Hall, where government sessions and meetings of Great Britain’s ruling party take place. Only the Buckingham Palace could be greater than that.
Whom did the Firtash couple invite? The Day noticed Ukraine’s First President Leonid Kravchuk, Vice Prime Minister Kostiantyn Hryshchenko, businessman Serhii Taruta, newly elected MP Vadym Novynsky, banker Roman Shpek, and Director General for International Relations in Presidential Administration Andrii Honcharuk among the respectable guests entering the Churchill-Hall.
Getting back to the public representing the British high society at the opening of the Days of Ukraine, it must be admitted that the representation did match the level, too. In particular, the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow volunteered to open the event. According to him, he had even to change his working schedule for such an important event. Another respectable guest was Chairman of British-Ukrainian Society Lord Risby.
Below are the key quotations of the guests:
Leonid KRAVCHUK, first president of Ukraine:
“This is an important event on the eve of the Vilnius Summit. The EU Association Agreement will be the second most important event for the Ukrainians, after the declaration of independence.”
Dmytro FIRTASH, businessman, “host” of the event:
“Businessmen do not only mind their own business today, but also try to solve their country’s problems. It would be unreasonable to argue the fact that Ukraine is a complicated country. But this is namely the reason why it is so important for us to do our best in order to make the world understand it better.”
Lord RISBY, head of the British-Ukrainian Society:
“If I were a participant of the Vilnius Summit, I would vote for signing the Association Agreement with Ukraine. Ukraine belongs to the European family. And it is the first step to make it part of our family.”
Andrii HONCHARUK, Director General for International Relations in Presidential Administration:
“The event indicates that large Ukrainian business is getting a better understanding of its role of an investment lobbyist on the international arena. Previously, at 8 a.m. London time, on the occasion of the launch of the Days of Ukraine in the UK, chairman of Group DF Dmytro Firtash and head of the Charity Fund Firtash Foundation Lada Firtash opened the trading on one of the biggest financial venues of Europe, London Stock Exchange. This is quite a precedent. Before that no businessman had ever opened the London Stock Exchange. Only heads of states, in particular US president, had had this honor.”