Great Britain gets new ambassador from Ukraine, Volodymyr Vasylenko

by Tony Leliw
Special to The Ukrainian Weekly

LONDON - Great Britain has a new Ukrainian ambassador. He is the former ambassador to the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Volodymyr Vasylenko.

Serguei Komissarenko, the outgoing ambassador to Britain, made the announcement at a farewell party on Saturday, January 31.

More than 200 invited guests crammed into the Ukrainian Association Club (SUB) in London's Holland Park to bid Mr. Komissarenko and his family good-bye. Among them were representatives from SUB, the Federation of Ukrainians in Great Britain, Plast, the Ukrainian Youth Association (SUM) and other organizations.

Mr. Komissarenko said that although relations between the Embassy and the Ukrainian community were strained at times, "we worked to get to know each other."

Mr. Komissarenko said he had made many friends in Britain. "It is not the last time that you will see me, but not as ambassador," he said. Other members of his diplomatic staff will be leaving as well, among them Press Attaché Mykola Kravchenko.

Ambassador Komissarenko's claimed that his only regret while ambassador is that he would not be at the opening of the new embassy building, which was paid for by President Leonid Kuchma during his last visit and is still undergoing building repairs. Mr. Komissarenko said that despite having three buildings in London and one in Edinburgh, the biggest problem facing the new ambassador will be accommodating Embassy staff. "I hope you will help him in that work," he asked community leaders.

The new ambassador, Mr. Vasylenko, is married and has a son and daughter; he celebrated his 61st birthday last month. The new ambassador is expected to take his post on February 16.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, March 1, 1998, No. 9, Vol. LXVI

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