Ukraine: Survival of the Richest

How can the EU help Ukraine in its reform process?


Andrew Wilson, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR

Timothy Ash, Head of Central Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Nomura

Chaired by

Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, ECFR

The resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the elevation of Volodymyr Groisman demonstrates the failure of Kyiv’s reform process. But Europe still has opportunities to push for deeper changes. While Ukraine suffers from many types of corruption, it is the penetration of its politics by the super-rich oligarchy that is the main obstacle to reform.

The EU remains Ukraine’s only plausible ally and, as such, has the potential to wield huge influence over the reform process. But how should it go about doing so? And how far will the new Groisman government be committed to real reform as opposed to just surviving?

Andrew Wilson is Senior Policy Fellow at ECFR and author of Survival of the Richest: How oligarchs block reform in Ukraine. He is also editor of ECFR’s What does Ukraine Think? essay collection.

Timothy Ash is the head of Central Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa credit strategy for Nomura International, a Japanese financial holding company. He was previously Chief Economist of Emerging Markets at Standard Bank and comments regularly on Ukraine affairs for the Kyiv Post.

Jeremy Shapiro (@JyShapiro) is Research Director at ECFR. Previously he was a fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy and the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, where he edited the Foreign Policy program's blog Order from Chaos. Prior to that, he was a member of the U.S. State Department’s policy planning staff.