SHAH ALAM - The Saloma Bridge was lighted up in blue and yellow, colours of the European Union (EU) flag and the national flag of Ukraine last night.
This was not only to observe the Europe Day, which is observed on May 9 annually but also to to stand in solidarity with the country at war.
EU ambassador to Malaysia Michalis Rokas said the lighting up of the 69m-long bridge of the EU colours reflects the deep partnership and friendship with Malaysia and at the same time showing solidarity and support for the Ukrainians.
"The EU is built with a strong belief in the independence of nations, their right to self-determination and to decide their alliances, and their right to not be aggressed.
"This is totally a war of choice as there was no provocation or reason behind it. All of us here in Kuala Lumpur stand in solidarity with Ukraine," he was quoted saying last night during the ceremony.
Rokas said the Russian invasion of Ukraine had taken centre stage for this year’s Europe Day celebration with all the other 14 ambassadors and representatives present reaffirming their stand with the latter.
He described the aggression as a “battle between humanity, humility and depravity”.
Ukrainian ambassador to Malaysia Olexander Nechytaylo, who was also present during the celebrations, said the blue and yellow colours of the EU and Ukrainian flag stood for freedom, democracy and liberty.
“"It is devastating that the slogan 'never again' did not materialise in the 21st century.
"However, I believe the hardship that my country is going through is very important to make sure that no dictator or authoritarian regime would be able to impose their views and choices on other nations in future, be it in Europe or in other parts of the world," he was quoted saying.
Ukraine is not EU member state.
The EU is a political and economic union, consisting of 27 member states and are subjected to the obligations and the privileges of the membership.
Belgium Embassy in Malaysia deputy head of mission Pierrick Massaux said: “Tonight more than ever, we share the same colours for Europe Day on the Saloma Bridge”.
Yesterday, Sinar Daily in collaboration with EU and Universiti Malaya's (UM) Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) hosted a special Wacana English Edition titled "Global Challenges in a Multipolar World".
The dialogue was streamed live online in the morning and moderated by EU studies expert and UM lecturer Dr Rahul Mishra; and featured Rokas, AEI economic expert Professor Datuk Prof Dr Rajah Rasiah and former Foreign Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.
A total of 16 ambassadors and representatives were present at Karangkraf Group headquarters in Shah Alam.