The participants of this year’s field trip from the Chancellor’s Office, the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Bundestag, Berlin-based foreign missions, selected think-tanks, the European Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union held talks with high-ranking Ukrainian government officials, parliamentarians as well as representatives of the business community and civil society. The discussions primarily focused on Ukraine’s accession perspectives to EU and NATO, bilateral relations between Germany and Ukraine and the impact of the recent Caucasus crisis.
During a two-day stay in Kiev, the group met with Dr. Hryhoriy Nemyria, Vice Prime Minister and Advisor to Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, Leonid Kravchuk, Ukraine’s first President after its independence, and Borys Tarasyuk, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration. Furthermore, the delegation was received by Leonid Kozhara, Member of the Party of the Regions faction and Deputy Head of the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Verkhovna Rada, as well as by Anatoly Zlenko, Foreign Policy Advisor to the Party of the Regions and Minister for Foreign Affairs (ret.) In the discussions, particular emphasis was placed on Ukraine’s relations with NATO and the EU, Ukrainian-Russian relations and current domestic developments in Ukraine. Issues of economic and energy policy were discussed at a background meeting with Sergey Taruta, President of the Board of Directors of Industrial Union Donbass (IUD). The program in Kiev was complemented by a briefing with Dr. Hans-Jürgen Heimsoeth, German Ambassador to Ukraine, a meeting with young Ukrainian foreign policy professionals and discussions with representatives of civil society.
At the headquarters of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) in Odessa, General Ferenc Banfi, head of the mission, outlined mandate and activities of the mission. During the visit to EUBAM’s Kuchurgan Field Office close to the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, the participants gained an authentic insight into the current situation in the border area which is of special interest against the backdrop of the Transnistria conflict.
In the Eastern Ukrainian Donbass region, the country’s industrial core, the group visited the Alchevsk Steel Mill and discussed regional and energy issues with the Chairman of the Donetsk Regional Council, Anatoliy Bliznyuk.
Once a year, Körber Foundation organizes a so-called field trip to a focal point of German and European foreign policy as part of the Körber Network Foreign Policy’s activities.
Previous field trips took participants of the Körber Network Foreign Policy to Georgia in 2006 and Iran in 2007.