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I Nyoman Astama: Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence in Bali

DENPASAR, – Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Bali I Nyoman Astama sincerely congratulates on the National Day and wishes Ukraine peace and prosperity: “This is a big and important day for all Ukrainians and I am delighted to share festive vibes with those of them who stay in Bali.

I Nyoman Astama
Konsul Kehormatan Ukraina di Bali
Perwakilan KADIN Ukraina (UCCI) di Indonesia

I am proud to be the Honorary Consul of Ukraine, a WOW country in the heart of Europe, the biggest one. Ukraine inspires…

Do you know that the WhatsApp application was created by a man originally from Ukraine? Vaccines against plague and cholera, helicopter and the world’s largest operational cargo aircraft Antonov An-225 Mriya were made in Ukraine. Mriya, as we know, means a dream. I have a “mriya” that Ukraine will continue to amaze the whole world with its inventions, charming culture, great food, and kind people”.

Currently, there are more than 3,123 Ukrainians living on the Island of Gods, mostly in Canggu, Seminyak, Uluwatu, and Ubud areas. They have their own Facebook community and are organizing meetings and celebrations, for example, they gather together to watch football and support the national team. The founder of the community Oleg Kolomiets even named one of the little Balinese streets as “Gang Ukraina” and you can find it on Google Maps. It shows how strong the patriotism of Ukrainians is despite they are far from their homeland.

In celebration of the Independence Day, the Honorary Consulate together with Ukrainian citizen and local company will donate 1 ton of rice to the people in need in Sesetan village, Denpasar area to assist them in facing the challenging time during the pandemic.

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On April 10, 2021, the Honorary Consulate with the support from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine / Ukrainian CCI in Indonesia and the Indonesian Association of Hotel General Managers (IHGMA) took part in the global initiative “Greening of the Planet 2021”, initiated by CEO Club Ukraine and Business Woman Club backed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Dmytro Kuleba. Ukrainians also joined this event when 200 mangrove trees (Rhizophora mucronata) were planted on the southern coast of Bali.

Besides, the office of the Honorary Consulate organized Indonesian language classes for people from Ukraine to learn more about Indonesian culture. The purpose was to help them to integrate with the local people and improve Ukrainian-Indonesian connections on the grassroots level. Social media of the Consulate are also used for promotion of Ukrainian language and spreading of catching information about two countries.

Since the appointment as the Honorary Consul, I Nyoman Astama continuously provided assistance for Ukrainians having trouble or looking for business cooperation. For example,
he took part in preparing Coronavirus repatriation flight of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) from Denpasar to Kyiv and provided all the possible assistance for Ukrainian citizens who have been stuck in the island of resorts and helped with an organization and implementation of the task of repatriating Ukrainian citizens.

He also paid a visit to a Ukrainian family of four people who faced a challenging financial situation during the pandemic time making them unable to settle their accommodation rent. The visit provided strong encouragement to the family and felt getting attention and recommendations for solution.

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Astama managed to bring during the complete lockdown period the mother of a Ukrainian girl being in an emergency situation after contracting the most severe form of malaria (Malaria Tropika or Plasmodium falciparum), so she was able to take care of her daughter in the hospital. At that time entrance for foreigners to Indonesia was forbidden and additional efforts like communication with the immigration service, receiving special permits, controlling the process of obtaining PCR-tests were required in quite a short period of time. But everything went well and now daughter after a month of treatment together with her mother successfully returned back to Ukraine.

The Honorary Consul also assisted a Ukrainian citizen whose partner passed away due to cancer and coordinated with the Central Hospital to ease the cremation process from the mortuary, arranged a free ambulance to the Crematorium site for the cremation, and liaised with the Civil Registration Office and the Embassy office for Death Certificate and Act.

The Consulate helped two Ukrainians who got schemed by their visa agent and helped them to leave Bali without paying overstay fine, which reached about 60 days (the fine for 1 day of overstay is USD 71) and without getting into an immigration black list. There was a case when a Ukrainian citizen was detained due to drugs issues while receiving a package with a homemade pastille from Ukraine, she was released after the Honorary Consulate interruption into the situation and the great work of a lawyer who proved she was innocent. Just a reminder – Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest drug laws up to death sentence for serious drug-related offenses. “As the Honorary Consul I am happy to provide the utmost service to the Ukraine citizens when they are in Bali” – states Astama.

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At present, the Honorary Consul is doing everything possible to help a Ukrainian, Olena Mukh, who is detained at prison Lapas Kelas IIB Karangasem after being suspected of using a fake PCR test when entering Bali from the neighbor island.

I Nyoman Astama is also enthusiastic to enlarge the sphere of collaboration between Ukraine and Indonesia, just recently he signed a memorandum of understanding with Bali International University and with the International Institute of Tourism and Business. Meanwhile, in Ukraine the Indonesian Ambassador to Kyiv, Prof. Dr. Yuddy Chrisnandi held a meeting with the Rector of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, Prof. Volodymyr Bugrov to submit a Letter of Support from the Indonesian Embassy in Kyiv for the initiative to establish the ASEAN Study Center at the Institute of International Relations (IIR) of Taras Shevchenko National University. Hence, the Honorary Consul hopes that Indonesia and Ukraine can further elaborate the cooperation in the sphere of education.

Moreover, Astama by being a Managing Director of Pacific Holidays DMC, a Destination Management Company, would like to launch a direct charter flight Kyiv-Denpasar to provide more comfortable and fast access and to increase the arrival of Ukrainian visitors, boost the economy of Bali and strengthen ties between the two countries.

“I hope bonds between Indonesia and Ukraine will get stronger, traveling – easier, and cooperation – smoother. Glory to Ukraine! Happy Independence Day!” – says the Honorary Consul. (AR)

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