By Duncan Mackay

A donation by European Olympic Committees President Patrick Hickey (left) to the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine has been welcomed by its President Sergey Bubka (right) ©NOCUUkraine have received a donation of $100,000 (£61,700/€73,800) from the European Olympic Committees (EOC) to help maintain programmes while the country faces an uncertain future, it has been revealed by Sergey Bubka. 

Bubka, the world pole vault record holder who is now President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOCU), claimed that the money will be used to help athletes taking part in the qualification process for the inaugural European Games in Baku next year. 

The donation follows the decision earlier this month by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to award the NOCU $300,000 (£178,300/€218,600) to be distributed to athletes in Ukraine for "training and competition purposes".

"One of our priorities as the National Olympic Committee is to secure consistent, guaranteed sports funding," said Bubka, the 1988 Olympic pole vault champion. 

"My team at the NOC and I have recently taken a number of actions and decisions on this matter and this donation will give our work a significant boost.

"I am very grateful to the EOC and its President Patrick Hickey for listening to us and responding to our request."

The conditions and procedure for how the EOC's aid is distributed will be decided by the NOCU, the Ukrainian Ministry of Sport and Youth, and National Federations, via a transparent decision-making process, it is claimed.

"The NOC has been in regular discussion with President Hickey about the situation in Ukraine and how it affects sport," said Hickey. 

"He has visited our country on numerous occasions and he understands what a strong contribution Ukraine makes to the Olympic Movement.

"For us, the aid provided by the EOC demonstrates that Ukraine is recognised as a full part of the European Olympic process."

Ukrainian athletes have continued to perform despite the current crisis, including triple jumper Olha Saladuha who won the silver medal at this year's IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot ©Getty ImagesUkrainian athletes have continued to perform at a high ldevel despite the current crisis, including triple jumper Olha Saladuha, who won the silver medal at this year's IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot ©Getty Images

Hickey, who is also a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board, claimed the donation was in line with the aims and mission of the EOC at a time Ukraine is a state of crisis with Government troops currently involved in military action against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. 

"The EOC's task has always been to provide support geared to the specific needs of our NOCs," he said.

"Providing this money to the Ukrainian NOC at this moment in time certainly falls into that category.

"I am delighted that the EOC has again been able to help one of our member NOCs during this difficult time for their country and their athletes."

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