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Olena Zelenska: Culture and joint humanitarian projects increase mutual understanding between Ukraine and Serbia

13 May, 2024
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Olena Zelenska: Culture and joint humanitarian projects increase mutual understanding between Ukraine and Serbia

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Ukraine's First Lady, Olena Zelenska, is in Belgrade at the invitation of Serbia's First Lady, Tamara Vucic, to participate in a conference on mental health.

"Our interaction goes far beyond and has been ongoing for several years. As an active participant in the Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen, Mrs. Vucic adheres to the main principle of our community: even soft power should be effective, especially when it comes to saving lives and restoring justice," noted the wife of the President of Ukraine.

On the first day of the visit, Olena Zelenska dedicated her time to cultural diplomacy events.

 

 

Together with the First Lady of Serbia, along with the Foreign Ministers of both countries, Dmytro Kuleba and Marko Djuric, she participated in the opening of a Ukrainian bookshelf at the Belgrade Library. The project now boasts over 200 bookshelves and 50,000 Ukrainian books in 47 countries.

"I believe in civilized cultural dialogue. Currently, this, along with joint humanitarian projects, continues to foster understanding between Ukraine and Serbia," noted Olena Zelenska.

The First Ladies also participated in the launch of a Ukrainian audio guide at the historical fortress of Kalemegdan as part of Olena Zelenska's project to promote the Ukrainian language in world-famous landmarks. The wife of the President of Ukraine expressed gratitude for the implementation of the initiative to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, the Ukrainian Institute, and the Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia.

 

 

"This is already the 84th such guide project for the Ukrainianization of leading landmarks worldwide. I'm glad that this ancient place with a heroic history will now be able to tell its story in Ukrainian," said Olena Zelenska.

On the same day, the First Lady and the Foreign Ministers were present at the signing of agreements on research, education, and cultural cooperation between Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and the University of Belgrade. Olena Zelenska noted that these universities have been cooperating for almost 30 years. In particular, Serbian language and literature are studied at Taras Shevchenko National University, while Ukrainian is taught at the Ukrainian Studies Department of the Philological Faculty of the University of Belgrade. The new agreement provides for the establishment of scientific and educational centers to study the history and culture of both countries. The President's wife also met with representatives of the Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Ruthenian communities.

 

 

"We in Ukraine know and appreciate the active work of representatives of the Ukrainian community in Serbia. You are the bridge that connects Ukraine and Serbia, representing Ukraine to Serbs every day. All your endeavors are important, from education to volunteering, as they strengthen us all," emphasized Olena Zelenska.

Additionally, she noted that thanks to agreements between the First Ladies in 2022, Serbia transferred emergency response vehicles to Ukraine – to the Kharkiv and Cherkasy emergency medical centers.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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