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Nine European nations to help restore Ukrainian culture sphere.

The meeting of culture ministers of Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States took place in Lviv on June 29.

Representatives of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and Hungary came to the country, while delegates from Latvia joined the event online, at the invitation of Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

That’s according to the ministry’s press service, Ukrinform reports.

Among the participants of the meeting were Piotr Glinski, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland; Simonas Kairys, Minister of Culture of Lithuania; Martin Baxa, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic; Natália Milanová, Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic; Sergiu Prodan, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Moldova; Tarvi Sits, Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture of Estonia; Diana Baciuna, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of Romania; Gabor Chaba, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Innovation of Hungary.

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Consequently, the ministries of culture of the participating countries have signed a joint declaration, which reflects their interests in development and cooperation. They also condemned Russia’s actions threatening Ukraine's cultural heritage and cultural values.

“The day before yesterday a missile hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, where more than 20 people died, many of them have not been found yet. We have been living in such a world for more than 120 days, and every day we hear not only about explosions, but also about hostilities. The country, which is in Europe, is on fire. Our cultural sites are also on fire. I am grateful to many for their understanding and for the constant support we feel. Undoubtedly, friends in need are friends indeed. But in order to win this war, we on the cultural front, as well as on the military one, desperately need help of the civilized world for the country. This meeting of the ministers is unprecedented and I am pleased to state that we have common goals and have reflected it in the declaration," said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

The common goals of the signatory countries include protection and preservation of Ukraine’s cultural heritage as part of the cultural heritage of mankind; protection of the cultural and media field from propaganda and neocolonial narratives; and establishing a common position in the international arena aimed at countering Russian aggression toward Ukraine.

Among the specific steps of international partners that Ukraine is expecting is support for joint projects aimed at:

  • digital transformation of cultural heritage management;
  • support of assessment, restoration and reconstruction of destroyed and damaged cultural heritage sites, in particular in the form of cultural patronage;
  • support for institutions and specialists responsible for the protection and management of cultural heritage (museums, reserves, research centers); and
  • methodical supervision and expertise.

In addition, the document lays down

  • creation of a special fund to support cultural heritage and media activities in Ukraine;
  • support for the presence of Ukrainian culture in European countries (publishing Ukrainian books, museum exhibitions, music and other cultural events);
  • encouraging the exchange of professional experience – joint projects, including scientific-research programs, study tours, and other professional activities;
  • continuing to impose or expand sanctions on Russian propagandists and television channels which support Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine;
  • financial support of the Ukrainian media as the main source of news and socially necessary information during the war for the citizens of Ukraine; and
  • providing Ukraine with the telecommunication equipment needed to maintain critical information infrastructures operable amid the war.
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