Ukrainian Mayor Meets Families On Teesside During Fact-Finding Mission

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 25th September 2023

A special guest has been welcomed to the region by the Tees Valley Mayor as part of a fact-finding mission.

Ivan Fedorov, who is Ukraine’s Melitopol City Mayor, visited the Riverside Stadium on Monday afternoon.

The 35-year-old was elected Mayor of the south-eastern city in 2015. He organised the defence of the settlement at the start of the 2022 invasion before he was kidnapped and released at the start of the ongoing war.

Monday’s visit came as part of a fact-finding mission on regeneration in a bid to learn lessons to apply in Ukraine from efforts on projects in Tees Valley.

While at the Riverside, Mr Fedorov also met Ukrainian families who have been offered refuge in Teesside from the ongoing conflict.

The City Mayor also signed an Agreement of Co-operation and Solidarity with the Tees Valley Mayor.

This included fully supporting Ukraine’s peace and security and its efforts to secure its territorial integrity, recognising Russia’s hostile actions against Ukraine and their violation of international law, and committing to a long-lasting relationship between Melitopol and Tees Valley, with the exploration of new trade opportunities.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It was a true honour to meet Mr Fedorov. His story and sacrifice are inspirations in Ukraine’s ongoing battle to defeat Putin’s invasion.

“It’s also a great honour to offer Mr Fedorov a glimpse of what we’re doing at our stations, Teesworks and our airport to breathe new life into Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“Seeing Ukrainian families on Teesside meeting Ivan was truly touching and shows how important our contribution is to the ongoing

Ukrainian war effort. Our region and Melitopol share a common history of industry and steelmaking so it’s great we can learn from one another and commit to these new ties.”

Melitopol is currently occupied by Russian forces.

Mr Fedorov was also presented with a Middlesbrough FC shirt with “Glory to Ukraine” on the reverse.

He said: “It’s great to be on Teesside to discuss our new partnership and how we move Melitopol forward together. It’s heartening to see the solidarity and we hope this marks the dawn of a productive new relationship.”

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