MOSCOW, February 1 (Itar-Tass) - Representatives of civil society institutions in Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will launch a trilateral dialogue platform to enhance mutual co-operation, Deputy Secretary of the Russian Civic Chamber Vladislav Grib said on Friday after a meeting with Chairman of the Ukrainian National Tripartite Social and Economic Council (NTSEC) Yuriy Kulik, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Henri Malosse and NTSEC Deputy Chairman from the Ukrainian Trade Union Federation Aleksey Miroshnichenko.
“The social activists have reached a number of agreements,” Grib said, adding that, among other things, the parties agreed to hold regular civil summits and to co-operate within special sessions and projects.
“This year, we will hold a big conference with the participation of Europe, Russia and Ukraine,” he said. “We would like to meet in Ukraine given that they currently especially need help of their Russian counterparts.”
Grib said the parties “have not raised any political issues concerning Ukraine”
“We consider that everything happening in the country is Ukraine’s own internal affairs,” he said. “Our Ukrainian counterparts need support at the moment, but support should not be confused with interference. Our main and common goal is the development of Europe, Russia and Ukraine without inflicting economic and social losses on each other.”
Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, Grib noted that “everyone hopes for a peace settlement of the current situation and tries to reach a compromise”.
Civic Chamber Secretary Yevgeny Velikhov said earlier that a major task of the meeting was to establish long-term and pragmatic academic partnership.
“A delegation from the Russian Civic Chamber wants to use this event as a chance to declare the Russian public position on the need to prevent further escalation of the political crisis in Ukraine and to join forces to restore social peace and harmony,” Velikhov said. “The only possible basis of the mentioned dialogue format is co-operation with our Ukrainian and European partners in concrete projects in such academic spheres as science, education, culture, tourism, public relations and others, completely excluding any political issues from the agenda.”
“For this purpose, the situation in Ukraine should be allowed to calm down,” he added. “Absolutely everyone in his right mind is interested in this. As for particular political decisions, they are up to the Ukrainian people and their legitimately elected political leaders.