RISE Ukraine – a coalition of around 50 civil society organizations that have come together after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine to support the country’s reconstruction efforts notes with dismay and resentment the participation of several leaders from Central Asia in today’s so-called ‘Victory parade’ held in Moscow.
Of special note is the attendance of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, whose country hosts the EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum this May. This large-scale event that is planned to be opened by President Mirziyoyev aims, among other matters, to discuss the recovery and reconstruction activities in Ukraine and the international support in these efforts.
RISE Ukraine is not only meant to participate in the forum but also act as co-organizer of one of the panels discussing civil society’s role and participation in the reconstruction process.
It is, however, unthinkable in the current circumstances of President’s Mirziyoyev demonstration of public support to Russia’s leadership, that RISE attends and co-facilitates this forum in Uzbekistan.
It is Russia’s and its leadership’s terroristic acts, atrocities and barbarism that have led to an unprecedented scale of destruction and human suffering unseen in Europe since WWII. Discussions about Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery are a direct consequence of these unlawful actions, not a stand-alone item. It is therefore unacceptable to the RISE coalition, a civil society actor representing the voices of many Ukrainians, to be debating about Ukraine’s restoration and modernization in a country, whose leadership attends the military parade of the aggressor-state and shakes hands with a war criminal whom the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant. Immoral acts like this cannot be tolerated and are perceived as disrespectful to Ukrainians who are fighting with Rascism today, a XXI century form of Nazism.
At the same time RISE Ukraine notes with appreciation the activities of EBRD to invest in Ukraine, support the country’s reconstruction efforts and promote civil society and business inclusion in this process. For the above reasons we kindly ask to replace the civil society panel and hope for EBRD’s understanding.