Political Luncheon with Leonid Kravchuk

Berlin, May 22, 2012

Leonid Kravchuk, First President of Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, met in Berlin with Members of the German Bundestag, representatives from government agencies and selected think tanks to discuss perspectives on the political developments in Ukraine, and the relations with Europe.

Most of the comments about Ukraine’s internal policies were rather critical. They focused on the relationship between policymakers and the judiciary, and the way in which the authorities were handling the Timoshenko case. In order to improve the situation in the long term it is imperative to reform the constitution and to revise laws which date back to the time of the Soviet Union. Other important topics were the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU initialled in March 2012 and Ukraine’s relationship with NATO and Russia. Some of the participants emphasized the fact that the Ukrainian government and a majority of the population were in favour of closer links with the EU. However, if the EU was not more forthcoming, it could not be ruled out that Russian proposals to integrate Ukraine into a Eurasian Union will ultimately be successful.

Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.

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