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Foreign Minister Wu holds videoconference with the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine

  • Date:2022-06-10
  • Data Source:Department of West Asian and African Affairs

June 10, 2022
No. 147

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Jaushieh Joseph Wu held a videoconference on June 10 with His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanius I, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. During the meeting, Minister Wu announced a donation of US$1.2 million to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to assist its relief programs for the Ukrainian people and the reconstruction of churches damaged in the war. The donation includes more than US$700,000 raised by the people of Taiwan and approximately US$500,000 allocated from international assistance funds of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The donation will go toward helping traumatized Ukrainian people recover from the ordeals of the war through their traditional Orthodox faith. The meeting follows two previous videoconferences held by Minister Wu, with the Mayor of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on April 22 and with the Mayor of Kharkiv on May 31. Minister Wu once again expressed the Taiwanese people’s solidarity and support for the Ukrainian people.


Minister Wu said His Beatitude is not only a religious leader but also heads a social movement in Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion, the Primate has worked with local religious leaders to turn churches into shelters for Ukrainian people seeking refuge. His noble actions have saved countless people from the ravages of war. Minister Wu noted that as well as having their homes destroyed, the Ukrainian people had also suffered emotional trauma and stress due to the war. Now more than ever, they need the comfort and strength of religion. Minister Wu said he believed that the Primate’s fearlessness and magnanimity would aid the spiritual recovery of the Ukrainian people and prepare them to face future challenges. He stressed that Taiwan has long been threatened by neighboring forces and therefore feels a close affiliation with Ukraine now that it is under invasion. Taiwan is willing to do what it can to help the embattled country. Underlining the belief that democracy will ultimately triumph over authoritarianism, Minister Wu said members of the international democratic community are upholding their common ideals and supporting Ukraine to come through the war.


The Primate pointed out that with Russia’s invasion, people worldwide should unite around humanitarian principles and the common ideal of all religions to serve the world and love its people. This would create an incomparable force that could vanquish the evil forces of darkness. He noted that the Ukrainian people are aware that Taiwan has extended generous support and direct assistance to Kyiv, Kharkiv, and four other city governments, as well as seven medical institutions in Lviv, Mykolaiev, and other areas. The Primate said that Taiwan’s generosity was not only testimony to the power of good, truth, and justice in the world, but also made the Taiwanese and Ukrainian people realize that the distance between the two countries cannot prevent them from upholding universal values and the common beliefs of defending human rights and pursuing peace. On behalf of the Ukrainian people and the wider membership of the Orthodox Church, the Primate again thanked Taiwan for its timely assistance, extended blessings of happiness and health to the Taiwanese people, and wished them enduring peace, stability, and freedom from external threats. Before concluding the videoconference, Minister Wu said “God bless Ukraine” in the Ukrainian language, which elicited a smile and a blessing for Taiwan from the Primate.


Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the government of Taiwan promptly condemned Russia and joined the international community in implementing economic sanctions against Russia. The government raised nearly US$33 million in donations from the Taiwanese public through the Relieve Disaster Foundation to assist the Ukrainian people. The funds have been delivered through four disbursements to Eastern and Central European and Baltic nations that are hosting Ukrainian refugees; to Kyiv; to seven medical institutions and related nongovernmental organizations in war-afflicted parts of Ukraine; and now to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. With this last installment, the government has completed the disbursement of funds donated by the Taiwanese people. To ensure full accountability, MOFA will explain in more detail how all of the funds from the Relieve Disaster Foundation special account have been allocated.


Since Russia invaded Ukraine more than three months ago, Taiwan has reiterated on several occasions its firm opposition to the use of military force or intimidation to unilaterally change the status quo, as well as its support of the rules-based international order. Taiwan will continue to cooperate with like-minded countries to help Ukraine restore peace and begin reconstruction efforts at an early date so that its people can resume normal life. (E)