PostEurop announces “possible suspension of Russia Post and Belpochta”
As the war on Ukraine continues, 38 PostEurop member CEOs and top executives met in a high-level meeting on 1 April 2022 to listen, exchange and discuss further actions extending their support in solidarity with the employees of Ukrposhta, their families and the citizens of Ukraine.
Igor Smelyansky, CEO of Ukrposhta addressed PostEurop direct from Ukraine while on the move. He presented the extent of the damages the Russian military invasion has caused, destroying more than 900 postal offices, over 200 delivery vehicles and mourned postal lives lost including those missing.
“The war is taking a toll on everyone with daily disruptions. 11 million Ukrainians are displaced and 4 million have left the country. Everyone in Ukrposhta is doing their best to keep our operations running to ensure that humanitarian goods and pensions are delivered to the Ukrainian people as they depend on it” emphasised Igor Smelyansky.
European Postal Operators’ solidarity movement
PostEurop and its members have been actively engaged in keeping the postal network open and ensuring that postal services and all items, including humanitarian aid, can reach Ukrainian citizens. In addition, to the regular operational calls, a growing number of postal operators have also commendably organised numerous national actions for Ukrposhta and the citizens. Actions include
- Medium to large-scale Humanitarian Aid: Collecting and donating vital supplies (food, clothes, medical equipment)
- Cooperating with humanitarian charities
- Postal items to Ukraine for free
- Free money transfer services
- Issue of special stamps
- Free calls from postal telecom companies
- Accommodation for refugees
“There is a deep sense of solidarity with our friends and colleagues in Ukrposhta, their families and the Ukrainian people and we are proud of what our members have done at an unprecedented time in the history of the Association” said Botond Szebeny, Secretary General of PostEurop.
Continuing a show of solidarity, several CEOs took the floor to share in detail their national initiatives and voiced their heartfelt support. Among others, David McRedmond, CEO of An Post (Ireland), Dirk Tirez, CEO of bpost (Belgium), Mart Mägi, CEO of Omniva (Estonia), Levan Chikvaidze, CEO of Georgian Post (Georgia), Tim Brown, CEO of Jersey Post (Jersey), Roman Cojuhari, Acting Director General for Posta Moldovei (Moldova) and Wieslaw Wlodek, Vice President of Poczta Polska (Poland) spoke about the dedicated programmes launched by their companies.
Suspension Russia Posts and Belpochta’s activities within PostEurop
Jean-Paul Forceville and Botond Szebeny also highlighted the current actions taken by the PostEurop Board of Directors in accordance with the governance of the Association. They announced that an Extraordinary General Assembly will be held within the shortest statutory deadline to discuss the questions related to the possible suspension or exclusion of Russian Post and Belpochta from the activities and membership of the organisation.
Gratitude, courage and self-sacrifice
All CEOs and top executives showed their appreciation for the meeting as it was a way for them to consider other means of cooperation and extend more help to Ukrposhta and the people of Ukraine.
“I am grateful for all the help that we have received and we will keep you informed about what we need to make sure that humanitarian aid and postal services can continue here in Ukraine” responded Igor Smelyansky, CEO of Ukrposhta.
While PostEurop and its members remain deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of Ukrposhta’s postal workers, their families, and civilians during the escalating conflict in Ukraine, members appreciate the exchange. “Our colleagues from Ukrposhta have shown a great courage and self-sacrifice which receives our utmost admiration and respect from everyone at PostEurop and we will continue to support our members in all actions” sums up Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of PostEurop Board of Directors.