On September 16 Rector of Mariupol State University, Professor, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Cyprus in Mariupol Kostyantyn Balabanov held the press conference dedicated to the results of the last week’s working visit to Greece. The visit took place at the initiative of the Caretaker Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Director of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO), Professor Spyridon Flogaitis and under the auspices of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the Hellenic Republic Volodymyr Shkurov.
From September 7 till September 12, the MSU delegation which included Rector Kostyantyn Balabanov and Vice Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Affairs (International Cooperation) Mykola Trofymenko held more than 20 summit meetings. One of the most important events during the visit was the meeting with the President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who noted the great contribution paid by the university to the development of cooperation and friendship between Ukraine and Greece as well as an active participation in eurointegration process and promotion of Greek language, history and culture.
Considering the fact that the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko invited Prokopis Pavlopoulos to visit Ukraine, Kostyantyn Balabanov, in his turn, invited the President of Greece to Mariupol and Mariupol State University in particular. The invitation was accepted.
A number of current issues of cooperation between MSU and Greek institutions and organizations were discussed at the meeting with the Ambassador of Ukraine to Greece Volodymyr Shkurov. The arrangements included the organization of practical training at the premises of the Embassy of Ukraine to the Hellenic Republic for the students majoring in international relations.
One of the main points of the MSU delegation’s visit to Greece was the participation in the meeting of the Board of Directors of the European Public Law Organization. Kostyantyn Balabanov represented the University in the Board of Directors and as a member of the Academy of European Law Board, which gives a basis for education for hundreds of students from around the world. During the meeting a friendly conversation was held with the Caretaker Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, Director of the European Public Law Organization, Professor Spyridon Flogaitis during which the agreements on the participation of MSU in large-scale international EPLO projects were reached. By the way, through the last 10 years the European Public Law Organization implemented more than 200 international projects funded by the EU, Greece, World Bank, governments and international organizations of different countries.
Also there were meetings with former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, Deputy Minister of Justice of Azerbaijan Togrul Musayev, the President of Caucasus University (Georgia), Professor Kakha Shengelia and other prominent scientists.
As a result of a fruitful communication with the head of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic Michalis Kokkinos, the administration of the university gained support in organizing internships for students and teachers and in implementing new research projects.
The agreement on multi-vector cooperation between MSU and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Rector – Professor Meletios-Athanassios Dimopoulos) will contribute to the development of inter-university cooperation and enhance cultural exchange. This agreement provides, in particular, the organization of instruction of Ukrainian language in Greece. Also, the signing of the agreement with Athens University of Economics and Business was discussed. Athens University of Economics and Business is considered to be one of the most popular higher education institutions in the country (12 thousand students). AUEB Rector, Professor Konstantine Gatsios is planning to visit Mariupol and MSU in the near future. It is expected the exchange of experience in cooperation within the framework of Erasmus + International Cooperation Projects.
An important step on the way toward the extension of ties with European colleagues was the accession of MSU to the Athens Network, which brings together leading European universities and implements many projects and programs financed by the EU. At the end of the visit Kostyantyn Balabanov and the Ambassador of Ukraine to Greece Volodymyr Shkurov met with the Mayor of the Municipality of Zografou Mrs. Tina Kafatsaki. Among other issues there were also discussed the terms of organization of the Days of Ukrainian Culture in Greece at the premises of the Mayor’s Office of Zografou and Kapodistrian University of Athens as well as the Days of Greek culture in Ukraine at the premises of Mariupol State University.
Folk dance ensemble "Promin" and MSU vocalists will surely be surprised by the opportunity to take part in Patras folk dance festival, which will be taking place from July 28 till August 1, 2016. As one of the biggest festivals in Europe, this year it brings together over 900 participants from 9 European countries. Talented youth of our university honorably represents Ukraine and astonishes the audience in Italy, Sweden, Estonia, Finland and Cyprus. Next year they will bring Ukrainian culture and traditions to Greece again.
Following the results of the visit it should be noted that the Hellenic Republic has shown a willingness to provide assistance to Mariupol State University and Ukraine and support the eurointegration movement of our country. As the university’s administration notes, throughout the entire visit there was a friendly and respectful atmosphere. Also the members of the meeting wished Ukrainians strength in coping with all the problems as soon as possible as well as regain the peace on Ukrainian lands.