A panoramic view of the City of Lviv. The historic city center of 120 hectares has been in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites since 1998 and since 2009, Lviv has been the cultural capital of Ukraine. Lviv was founded in1256 by King Danylo Halytskyi and was named in honor of his son Lev; and  “by its “mystical  geographical location, it connects and unites  East and West, Asia and Europe”


On the extreme left is  the Head of Lviv Oblast (region) Administration Mr. Oleh Syniutka welcoming the visiting envoys; 4th from left is Ukraine’s Ambassador to Poland H.E. Andrii Deshchytsia


On the extreme right is  the Head of the Lviv Regional Council Mr. Oleksandr Hanushchyn 



L to R: Sweden’s Ambassador to Poland H.E. Inga Erikson Fogh, Ambassador Paez, wife of the Mayor of Lviv Mrs. Sadovyi, Mayor of Lviv Mr. Andrii Sadovyi; and the “living heroine” of Ukraine- helicopter pilot Ms. Nadia Savchenko who was captured by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine and was detained in Russia in 2014 until her release this year after she decided to go on hunger strike


Ambassador Deshchytsia and Ambassador Paez during the “walking tour” of Lviv, “a city that arose in the middle of the 13th century as the capital of a powerful Eastern European state - the Principality of Galicia-Volhynia. Due to its unique geographic location at the crossroads of the main trade routes between East and West in the 15th-17th centuries, it became the leading center of trade in Eastern Europe and the largest city in Ukraine.”


L to R: Portugal’s Ambassador to Poland H.E. Maria Amelia Paiva, Ambassador Deshchytsia, and Ambassador Paez at the Rynok (Public Square)


A group photo of the visiting ambassadors at the center of Lviv; 2nd from the right is Ambassador Paez


Center of the City of Lviv with edifices dating back to the time when Lviv was under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. “In the 18th-20th centuries being part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Lviv became known, as the city of technical innovation; in particular the kerosene and kerosene lamp were invented in Lviv. At the beginning of the 20th century, the city became the capital of the region that was third in the world for production of oil after the United States and Russia.”



L to R: Director General of the public relations agency PRADA Ms. Ada Krzewicka, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ms. Ivanna Klympush-Tsitsadze, Ambassador Paez, the President of the Management Board of the Polish Vodka Association Mr. Andrzej Szumowski


Original fortress. “For 317 years - from 1387 to 1704, Lviv survived over a hundred sieges and not a single invader was allowed to set foot inside the city walls. Few medieval European cities could boast such an achievement. Much later, Lviv became one of the centers of the movement for the revival of the Ukranian state in the late 1980s.”



L to R: Ambassador Paez holding a bottle of Ukrainian white wine given to her by the owners of Vienna Cafe, Portugal’s Ambassador to Poland H.E. Maria Amelia Paiva, owner of the Vienna Cafe Mrs. Oleg Mandiuk, and the spouse of Ambassador Paiva


“The architectural variety of Lviv embraces the traditions and styles of various ages and peoples - gothic, baroque, rococo, renaissance, umpire, secsssion, and constructivism, to name a few.”



An ensemble of young Ukranian folk music players and singers


L to R: President of Tokarski Holding S.A. Mr. Krzysztof Tokarski; PRADA  public relations agency Director General Ms. Ada Krzewicka, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Poland H.E. Mahfuzur Rahman, Managing Director of Kulczyk Holding  S.A. Kiev Mr. Nazar Biczuja; Ambassador Paez, Mr. Michal Pryslopska; Executive Director of the Polish Vodka Association Mrs. Elzbieta Kwiencinska-Pryslopska; Ambassador Deshchytsia; and President of the Management Board of the Polish Vodka Association Mr. Andrzej Szumowski 


At the Potocki Palace where the art exhibit themed “Carpet: Modern Ukrainian Artists” was opened to the ambassadors prior to its formal  opening; at the center is Ms. Irina Goroditska of SolArt Projects


L to R: Ambasssdor of Argentina to Poland H.E. Patricia Beatriz Salas, Ambassador of Portugal to Poland H.E. Maria Amelia Paiva; a Ukranian lady who handed out locally-produced wine and chocolates; and Ambassador Paez




L to R: Swedish Ambassador H.E. Inga Erikssson Fogh; a student volunteer guide, and Ambassador Paez; folklore has it that if one puts her hand inside the mouth of the sculptured lion, she will come back to Lviv


 At the Citadel Inn Hotel & Resort 



The Alfa Jazz Festival is held every year in Lviv and “gathers over a hundred world class musicians’ who perform on three stages in trhe city’s downtown area” attracting thousands of jazz enthusiasts 



 Vienna Cafe’s Blues Band


Singing along with the Lemko Bluegrass band at the Citadel Inn Hotel & Resort


Tourists flocking to the City of Lviv

Philippine envoy to Poland Ambassador Patricia Ann V. Paez participated in the Promotional Tour to Lviv for Ambassadors accredited to Warsaw from June 24 - 26, 2016 upon the invitation of the Embassy of Ukraine in collaboration with the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland.

   The visit to Lviv, a city in Ukraine, was timely for Ambassador Paez because the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) recently decided to transfer the diplomatic jurisdiction over Ukraine to the Philippine ambassador to Poland and its consummation is still in process.

   Accompanied by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland H.E. Andrii Deshchytsia,  the envoys headed for Lviv on June 24 passing by the border crossing via the checkpoint Hrebenne-Rava Ruska. After checking in at the Hotel Atlas Delux, they were feted to a dinner at Videnska Kaviarna (“Vienna Cafe’) where they were welcomed by the Head of Lviv Oblast (Region) Administration Mr. Oleh Syniutka and the Head of the Lviv Regional Council Mr. Oleksandr Hanushchyn. After-dinner entertainment was provided by a Ukranian band whose genre is blues music which was banned in Ukraine during the era of Soviet rule.

   The Vienna Cafe is a historic landmark in Lviv and was built in 1825.. Its present owners had it rehabilitated in 2005. Serving authentic Ukrainian cuisine and locallly-produced wine, the Vienna Cafe is very popular with tourists.

   The following day, the ambassadors had a sightseeing walking tour and after a coffee break, had a sightseeing bus tour. The Mayor of Lviv Mr. Andrii Sadovyi hosted a buffet lunch at the Italian Yard located at the Rynek Square (Public Square). The envoys went to the Potocki Palace to see the painting exhibition themed “Carpet: Modern Ukranian Artists” which was officially opened the following day. In the evening, they attended the concert of the quartet Branforda Marsalisa within the framework of Alfa Jazz Festival - a yearly event which draws  thousands of tourists to Lviv.

   On their last day, the ambassadors had lunch at the Citadel Inn Hotel and Resort and were met by Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Mrs. Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze and Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mr. Ostap Semarak.

   At the Citadel Inn Hotel, Ambassador Paez met Mr. Nazar Biczuja, Managing Director of Kulczyk Holding S.A. in Kiev. The Kulczyk Foundation headed by Ms. Dominika Kulczyk, has social projects in the Philippines.The Foundation’s mission is “to identify efficient solutions to social problems, in order to improve the situation of those in need” and its “strategy” is “to help others by introducing best business practices to the world of philanthropy.” Ambassador Paez likewise met Mr. Krzysztof Tokarski, president of Tokarski Holding S.A. with diverse businesses in both Poland and Ukraine.

   Ambassador Deshchytsia gave CDs of the Lemko Bluegrass Band, which performed at the Citadel Inn during the lunch, to the visiting envoys who later headed back to Warsaw with a coffee break at Dwor Lwowski near Lublin in Poland.

   Lviv is now a destination of choice by thousands of tourists who are drawn by its ancient civilization as evidenced by original edifices built when Lviv was still under the Austro-Hungarian empire as well as by Lviv’s vibrant cultural life. An interesting combination of ancient civilization and cosmopolitanism exist side-by-side in Lviv which is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

   The Promotional Tour for ambassadors accredited to Warsaw showcased Lviv’s history, old as well as avant-garde culture and featured “gastro diplomacy.”

   A handy and “reader-friendly” information material entitled “Invest Ukraine-Open for U” were given to the ambassadors which underscore the following key facts about Ukraine:

  1. Ukraine’s economy “achieved growth in the first quarter of 2016 for the first time since 4Q2013, and is expected to grow 1-2% this year, after contracting 7% in 2014 and a further 10% in 2015.”
  1. Ukraine has risen 65 positions since 2012 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business.
  2. With a GDP (PPP) of US$ 339 billion in 2015, Ukraine is among the top-50 economies globally.
  3. The average salary is US$ 179 per month.
  4. No. 1 in IT engineering force in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).
  5. No. 5 worldwide in rail cargo traffic.
  6. Four (4) of ten (10) European transport corridors run through Ukraine
  7. No.1 in black soil concentration globally.
  8. No. 1 in sunflower oil exports globally.
  9. Local gas production covers nearly 60% of needs.
  10. 4th educated nation in the world - 99.7% literacy rate.
  11. 70% have a secondary or higher education.
  12. 9.8% of graduates in math, sciences and computing the highest level in CEE
  13. Jan Kourn (WhatsApp) and Max Levchin (PayPal) were born and raised in Kyiv
  14. World’s largest  cargo aircraft, Antonov-225 Mriya, designed and manufactured in Ukraine. (END)