Kent city leaders are in the process of establishing a sister city relationship with Lutsk, Ukraine.
Kent Mayor Dana Ralph has spoken with Honorary Consulate General Valeriy Goloborodko about establishing a sister city in Ukraine since late last year, according to Patti Belle, communications manager for the town of Kent.
It was a few months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
“Kent has a large Ukrainian population,” Belle said. “We heard the community’s interest in re-establishing a sister city with a city in Ukraine. Lutsk is also interested in establishing a relationship. One of the keys to the program is to have a committee in both countries ready to do the work to establish the relationship/program. This currently exists with both Kent residents and Lutsk residents.
Lutsk is a city located on the Styr River in northwestern Ukraine. Kent previously had a sister city in Kherson, Ukraine before it was dissolved. Kherson Park in Kent city center is named after the town.
Ralph and City Council Speaker Bill Boyce met on June 2 at Council Chambers in Kent with Lutsk City Mayor Ihor Polishchuk (via Zoom) and Lutsk Council Member Roman Kravchuk (in person) to sign a memorandum of understanding declaring his intention to explore the establishment of a sister. city relationship. Kravchuk was in the Kent area on a business trip and met with Kent town leaders.
“It seems like the right thing to do to show support for Ukrainian friends and neighbours, especially during this time, and to honor a community that has a long and rich history here in Kent,” Ralph said at the meeting. of the municipal council of June 7. “About three decades ago, Ukrainians were one of our earliest immigrant populations and are one of our largest immigrant populations to date.”
Ralph said Polishchuk had planned to go to Kent, but those plans changed after the Russian invasion.
The Kent Sister Cities program provides opportunities to build meaningful and lasting global friendships, partnerships and relationships, according to the city’s website. Youth exchanges and other events deepen our community’s ties to the diverse populations living in our city and our ties across the world.
Kent has sister towns in Tamba, Japan; Sunnfjord region, Norway; and Yangzhou, China.
The Sister City relationship aims to:
• Increase citizens’ awareness and understanding of each other’s culture
• Encourage educational opportunities and the exchange of technical methodology
• Contribute to the development of trade and tourism
• Share information on best practices in municipal service delivery, public safety, economic development, public services, environmental preservation, technology and public relations
The parties concerned will take into account the friendly relations between Ukraine and the United States and the large Ukrainian population residing and doing business in Kent.