The British Parliament hosted the official opening of Days of Ukraine in the United Kingdom – the first Ukrainian cultural festival in Europe organized by the FIRTASH Foundation charity fund and sponsored by Group DF.
Over a hundred persons, including government officials, public and business leaders, and media representatives from Great Britain and Ukraine, gathered inside the famous Churchill Hall, the meeting place for the British government and the ruling party.
The ceremony was attended by the Speaker of the House of Commons of the UK John Simon Bercow, the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Relations with Ukraine John Whittingdale MP, the Chairman of the British Ukrainian Society Lord Risby, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Konstyantyn Gryshchenko, the first Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, the former Prime Minister Yevgen Marchuk, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Volodymyr Khandohiy.
“It’s wonderful that business has been making efforts to support the Ukrainian education and culture, and raise awareness in Europe about the Ukrainian culture, history and language. We are grateful to FIRTASH Foundation and all individuals who helped to make this event happen. We are also grateful to the Chairperson of the Foundation, Lada Firtash, who put all her energy and dedication in the implementation of this project,” said the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.
The formal reception in the Parliament was attended by Ukrainian businessmen Victor Pinchuk, Vadim Novinsky, Sergei Taruta, Hryhoriy Surkis, Ihor Surkis and other Ukrainian business representatives.
“The fact that we are hosted at the British Parliament and that its speaker came in person to greet us demonstrates how important our country is to the UK,” commented Chairman of Group DF Supervisory Council Dmitry Firtash during the ceremonial reception.
“It is a very important period for Ukraine on its way towards the European integration. And I am sure that such cultural events are of great importance for Ukraine’s accession to Europe. We are very happy that London was chosen as the stage for the first such large scale project, and we are grateful to FIRTASH Foundation for making this happen,” said the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Relations with Ukraine John Whittingdale MP.
At 8 am today, to mark the start of the Days of Ukraine in the United Kingdom, the Dmitry Firtash and Lada Firtash were given an honourable opportunity to officially open the trading day at one of Europe’s largest financial platforms – the London Stock Exchange.
Today the festival will also continue with a gala evening at the Natural History Museum. Representatives of political and business elites from the UK and Ukraine will be treated to a splendid concert programme. They will enjoy performances by a famous Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk and bassist Sergiy Magera accompanied by an orchestra, violin virtuoso Oleksandr Bozhyk, and bandura player Roman Hrynkiv. The guests will also see an art performance “Autumn Is So Lovely” by Zinaida Lihacheva, and a ballet performance by the famous Ivan Purtov and Tetiana Lyozova. The gala will culminate with the music performance by Oleg Skrypka and Le Grand Orchestra.
For more details on the Days of Ukraine in the United Kingdom, its programme and participants please visit the project website http://ukraine-days.co.uk/  or Group DF on social media https://www.facebook.com/GroupDF. 
Days of Ukraine in the United Kingdom is the Ukrainian cultural festival, taking place in London on 17 to 19 October 2013. During the three days, well-known Ukrainian painters, artists, musicians, designers and craftsmen will demonstrate the best of Ukraine: its arts, classical, ethnic and contemporary music, fashion, cuisine and folk crafts. The festival is organized by FIRTASH Foundation, a charity founded by Dmitry and Lada Firtash, and sponsored by Group DF international group of companies.