Planting sunflowers for Ukraine and a united Europe with words of strength

On Friday, May 6, several symbolic sunflower planting events took place in support of the Ukrainian people and Ukraine's integration into the family of the European Union, as a part of the civic society initiative "Sunflowers for a united Europe together with Ukraine".

A new sunflower bed is now being created on the AB Dam in Riga, next to a large Latvian flag. Sunflowers were planted by members of the public, organisers and officials as words of strength were voiced to the Ukrainian people. Among them were Kristīne Zonberga, Director of the Civic Alliance - Latvia; Mārtiņš Staķis, Mayor of Riga; Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Zane Petre, Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia; and Anita Skudra, Chairman of the Management Board of LLC "Forests of Riga". In appreciation of the warm welcome in Riga, Ukrainian artist Maria Zenkova presented a painting of sunflowers to the City of Riga. 

On May 6, President of Latvia Egils Levits, supporting the campaign "Sunflowers for a united Europe together with Ukraine", planted sunflowers together with Ukrainians (children, young people and their families) in Valmiera. 

A symbolic sunflower bed was also created in front of the Marupe State Gymnasium, where 11 students from Ukraine are currently studying. Sunflowers were planted by 9th grade students together with the organisers, teachers and the school headmaster, Jānis Lagzdkalns. 

Sunflower planting took place in other parts of Latvia too the during Democracy Week, e.g. sunflowers were planted in Liepaja on May 3 and Daugavpils on May 5. Additional smaller and larger sunflower beds are being created and will continue to be created throughout the month of May. 

The organisers of the campaign (Civic Alliance - Latvia and the European Movement in Latvia) are grateful to all people, institutions, companies and organisations in Latvia who have so far got involved and sown their sunflowers in support of Ukraine.