Vitoria (EFE).- The lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, has asked Russia for a ceasefire in the war in Ukraine, which despite its “atrocity” and “barbarism” has also brought out “the best of the human condition” because “Solidarity opens the door to the hope of peace”.
On the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, the solidarity of the Basques has its greatest exponent in the 1,500 families -many of Ukrainian origin- that have welcomed 3,500 refugees at some point. Also in the “thousands” of citizens who have accompanied them in their process of social integration.
Euskadi’s response to the war is “positive” although this assessment is, in turn, “sober, discreet and free of any hyperbole or complacency: simply, what should be done has been done”. This is stated in the document prepared by the Basque Government “Ukraine-Euskadi: Memory of a year of solidarity”.
The text has been presented this Friday at the Monitoring Table for the Reception of Refugees in Ukraine. This forum brings together the institutions and entities of the third sector and which this Friday held its twentieth meeting.
Urkullu calls for a ceasefire
At its conclusion, the regional Executive held an act of recognition of the solidarity of the Basques in the Lehendakaritza. It has been an attitude that makes “hope in the face of desolation” emerge, the lehendakari said before an audience made up partly of refugees and families who have welcomed them.
“There is a conclusion that we can highlight after this year: the cruelty and injustice of the war in Ukraine do not have to have the last word,” said Urkullu.
“In the face of the worst, the best of the human condition also emerges. Commitment and solidarity open the door to the hope of peace ”, she has valued.
The lehendakari has reiterated his condemnation of the “unilateral invasion” of Ukraine by Russia, to which he has called for a ceasefire and a “commitment to the development of a peace plan”. In addition, he has claimed the “unity” of Europe and the international community before Putin.
Several refugees took the floor at the event and thanked the Basque society for its response. Ana has confessed that when she arrived in Euskadi she was “impressed” that there were “many people very involved” with the refugees. Sofia has stated that she feels “protected” with her foster family.
4,180 requests for protection
Since the start of the war, 4,180 Ukrainians have requested temporary international protection in Euskadi. 3,101 have obtained the health card, 1,027 minors have attended school. 532 people have enrolled in official language schools and adult education centers.
Financial aid for a value close to 3 million euros has been granted to 1,633 coexistence units. In addition, local reception groups have accompanied 856 displaced persons from Ukraine. Another 570 people have received personalized psychosocial attention and 69 minors have had extracurricular educational support.
Also in solidarity with Ukraine and its citizens and to ask for “peace and democracy” for this country, rallies were held this afternoon in front of the town halls convened by the Basque association of municipalities, Eudel.
Aburto: “Hopefully there won’t be a second anniversary”
Its president and mayor of Vitoria, Gorka Urtaran, declared at the end of the meeting held in Vitoria that “peace is not achieved only with the cessation of hostilities. As he has said, it is also achieved by “respecting the values of democracy, freedom, equality, respect for human rights, international law and territorial integrity.”
In Bilbao, its mayor, Juan Mari Aburto, has branded the war in Ukraine as “unjust and absurd”. Hopefully we don’t have to celebrate a second anniversary. I hope we don’t have to be on these steps again or anywhere else, on what could be the second anniversary of the war, ”he wished.
The rejection of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is shared by all the Basque political parties, but there is no consensus on the formula to put an end to it.
Thus, EH Bildu has considered on this first anniversary of the war that “there is no military solution to this conflict” and that “we must bet on diplomacy and negotiation”. The Basque PP has been in favor of sending more military aid to Ukraine.
Also on the occasion of the first anniversary of the war, the Ukraine-Euskadi Association plans to demonstrate this afternoon at 7:00 p.m. in the three Basque capitals. It will do so in support of the Ukrainian people and in rejection of the “large-scale invasion” of this country by Russia. EFE