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Charter President’s Statement on the situation in Ukraine

The past couple of days, a humanitarian disaster has been unfolding in Europe. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put a temporary end to decades of peace in today’s Europe. I am very concerned about the situation, that is developing at a rapid pace. Although our network is apolitical, I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the aggression displayed by the Russian Federation and the continuous violations of international law by invading a sovereign country and the continuous unjust violence exhibited. If it were in my power to end the war situation, I would not hesitate for a second to do so. Fortunately, several governments do take appropriate measures and offer necessary help, in any form.

Over the past few days I have contacted several members of our Charter of European Rural Communities. After all, the situation in Ukraine also has a threatening effect on neighbouring countries in the region. The affirmation of unity and co-operation is one of the aims of our network. Even in challenging times, it is our job to maintain this unity, if only in the form of moral support.

I know there are some members of our network who also have a bilateral friendship with towns in Ukraine. I consider those friends as friends of the Charter as a whole. Through you I send my best wishes, hopes and prayers to them, their compatriots and their country. Let us all hope that the situation will end sooner rather than later and that Ukraine and its people will have the opportunity to recover from these tragic events. A return to normal life will unfortunately take longer, because the mental impact will be felt for a long time. Not only among the Ukrainians, but also among the rest of Europe. History has taught us that we are resilient and that peace and freedom always prevail. That will also be the case this time. In our humble way we contribute to this mission with our network. And that is why we also stand with Ukraine and its people, as friends of our network.

Boy Scholtze

President Charter of European Rural Communities

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