Dr. Thorsten Clausing, Ukraine task force, German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Olexiy Haran, Professor of Comparative Politics, Kyiv Mohyla Universität
Sergiy Leschenko, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament for the Blok Petra Poroshenka party and journalist
Gustav Gressel, Visiting Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), Berlin
One and a half years after Euromaidan and one year after the election of Poroszenko as Ukrainian president the country is facing enormous challanges: The war is neither over nor does it seem that a lasting solution can be found anytime soon. Ukrainian economy is dramatically shrinking since last autumn. This poses also a problem for the implementation of much needed reforms, because with declining economic output tax revenues are falling and the means available for reform efforts diminish. Against this backdrop the round table discussion organised by ECFR addressed the following questions: How can Ukraine escape this dire situation and how can Europe support Ukraine in this?
What made the event stand out, was that ECFR gave a voice to Ukrainians to present their very own views on these issues. This is especially important since too much of the debate and the diplomacy in the current crisis has been conducted without Ukrainians themselves, as was also argued by the authors of the ECFR-publication „What does Ukraine think?“ . Two of said authors, Olexiy Haran, Professor of Comparative Politics at Kyiv Mohyla Universität and Sergiy Leschenko, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament for the Blok Petra Poroshenka party and journalist, therefore took the chance to present the Ukranian perspective to a small group of representatives from German ministries, think-tanks and media. Dr. Thorsten Clausing from the Ukraine task force of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs also joined the debate and provided valuable insights into the view of German diplomacy on the Ukrainian crises.