A ceremony called "The West Gate of Croatia - For the wounded Ukraine" was held at the Gorican border crossing with Hungary on Saturday, where Ukrainian Ambassador Vasily Kyrylych said that Croatia has accepted displaced persons from Ukraine "in a special family way".
The ceremony, initiated by the Municipality of Gorican, included the scattering of soil from Ukraine on a mound that contains soil from each EU member state, and the planting of a tree by the mound.
“More than 80 per cent of all displaced persons from Ukraine in Croatia have used the Goričan border crossing and our transit reception centre Stara Mura. I am glad that we were the first to visit the Hungarian-Ukrainian border and see how it was functioning, and that we swiftly responded and set up the reception centre,” Mayor Emanuel Sinkovic said.
Kyrylych compared the present situation in Ukraine to the military aggression against Croatia in the 1990s, saying that the 1991-1995 war in Croatia was a strong lesson to the defenders of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people on how to successfully defend their country. “That is encouraging, and we are aware, we are certain that we will manage to defend our country,” the ambassador said.
He thanked Croatia for accepting displaced persons from Ukraine. “We feel in Croatia like we feel at home. That is a strong message of support.”
Kyrylych also highlighted Croatia’s role in a historic moment for his country – the award of the status of candidate country for EU membership.