Projects

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Washington, DC
February 14-15, 2017

Washington DC
April 27, 2017

Washington, DC
June 15, 2017

Kyiv, Ukraine
August 30, 2017
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CUSUR 2016 - Project I
US-UA “Working Group” Initiative

The US-Ukraine “Working Group” Initiative was launched in 2007 in order to secure an array of experts in "areas of interest” for CUSUR and its various forums/proceedings; at the same time, it was hoped that the ‘experts’ might agree to write a series of ‘occasional papers’ to identify “major issues” impacting on US-Ukrainian relations.
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CUSUR 2016 - Project II
Publication Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to set up proper channels for the maximum circulation of the information/analysis CUSUR possessed or had at its disposal, the Center long focused on having ‘a publication presence’ of some form or another.
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CUSUR 2016 - Project III
DC Occasional Briefings Series

CUSUR did not turn its attention to having a DC presence until summer 2012. Borrowing space when the need arose (particularly for various forum steering committees meetings) from the American Foreign Policy Council, its longest abiding partner, seemed to suffice; an Acela ride from the Center’s NY office did the rest. If there was a concern, it was to open an office in Kyiv.
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CUSUR 2016 - Project IV
Kyiv Seminars for UA Officials

The several visits of young, fresh minded, reform oriented UA military commanders and national security analysts to various top flight foreign policy think tanks and institutes of higher diplomatic or military learning in DC (prompted in good part by CUSUR invitations to its Occasional Briefings) in the latter part of 2014 prompted the UA MOD to propose a slightly different arrangement for similar discussions/conversations in 2015.
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Ukraine at yet another crossroads

Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic Future:
International Forum VI

Ukraine at the Crossroads

Geopolitics and National Security:
Ukraine at Yet Another Crossroads

Amanda Paul

Report filed by Amanda Paul, European Policy Centre, Brussels, concerning Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic Future Forum VI in Ottawa, Canada on March 8, 2012.


Last week I was in Canada speaking at a conference on Ukraine. Ukraine is important to Canada because the country is home to a large Ukrainian diaspora community, with some 1.3 million residing there. They came in several waves. First, at the end of the 19th century from the Galychyna region (then part of the Hungarian-Austrian Empire), which was in those days a particularly poor and over-populated region with few employment opportunities. New waves came with the establishment of Communism in the 1920s, the outbreak of World War II and the repression placed on Soviet Ukraine by Stalin. After this the gate was closed, with a new wave of migration only beginning following Ukraine’s independence in the 1990s.

The Canadian Ukrainian community is very active and closely monitors political developments in the country, which has helped shape Canada’s foreign policy towards Ukraine. The conference was entitled “Ukraine at the crossroads.” It brought together experts to discuss political developments in the country. The “crossroads” concept is nothing new when discussing Ukraine, because the country has found itself at many crossroads over the years and the question is always the same. Where is Ukraine going? This time the two options discussed were: a future that adheres to European values and principles and one that would bring Ukraine towards greater “Putinism,” which was presented by a number of the other speakers.

Having traveled to Ukraine many times, I know it to be a wonderful country. Ukraine has everything -- energy resources, wonderful agricultural land and an environment perfect for tourism -- yet Ukraine’s politicians have proved to be their own worst enemies and have so far failed to deliver a bright future for Ukraine’s patient citizens. Ukraine’s potential has, for the most part, been unexploited and the country has found itself treading water for much of the last 20 years. Politics in the country are, to say the least, chaotic and loaded with political rivalries and conspiracies with big business simultaneously sitting in the Ukrainian parliament as well as in the boardroom.

Ukraine’s geostrategic choice is Europe. Since its independence, Ukraine has aspired to be part of the EU although this desire has not always been followed by actions, nor has it been reciprocated by the EU. Indeed, for a long time many in the EU even had trouble recognizing Ukraine’s European identity, preferring to base relations through the prism of Russia.

Ukraine, unlike its neighbor Poland, was not offered prospective membership. It was told to get its house in order and carry out far-reaching reforms first. Unfortunately, without a clear goal to aim for, Ukraine’s elites struggled and failed. This outcome suited most of all big neighbor Russia, which almost sees Ukraine as an integral part of itself and has always opposed Ukraine’s EU dream.

Today Ukraine finds itself at a low point. Canada, like other nations, is concerned over democratic standards and the rule of law. In the aftermath of the 2004 Orange Revolution, Ukraine became a beacon of democracy in the Eastern neighborhood, a model for other countries to follow. However, developments over the last 18 months, including the criminal case and subsequent sentencing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko have dimmed Ukraine’s light, with Ukraine’s leadership being accused of selective justice.

These developments have cast a rock into Ukraine’s relations with the West and in particular with the EU. While the two partners already have close ties, cooperating in numerous different areas, over the last five years, Ukraine and the EU have been negotiating a far-reaching association agreement, including a deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement. While there is still no prospective membership, these two agreements will deepen ties to a degree never before witnessed with a third country and certainly bring Ukraine one step closer to one day being fully absorbed into the EU family.

However, in order to have the agreements signed and ratified the EU wants to see improvements in democracy and the rule of law. First this means holding free and fair parliamentary elections on Oct. 28. The EU will be carefully monitoring the pre-election period as well as the event itself for signs of irregularities. Progress has also been called for on constitutional reform, the fight against corruption, improving the business climate, and judicial reform. At the same time Kyiv will also have to beat back the Russians, which continue to play cat and mouse with Ukraine, including in ongoing gas negotiations. With a newly assertive Vladimir Putin back in the Kremlin, he will be ready to fight tooth and nail to keep Ukraine where he sees its natural place -- at the side of Russia.

Ukraine has spent too long drifting. It is time for words to be tuned into real actions and results through an inclusive and transparent process supported by civil society. There should be no more crossroads; therefore let us hope that this crossroads will be the last one because the alternative would be catastrophic, not just for the Ukraine but for the entire region.

 

Latest News

RT XVII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XVII: Ukraine & Religious Freedom, held in Washington, DC on Oct. 27, 2016
 
UA HES SE: UA 25th B-Day
Highlights from UA HES Special Event: 'Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Modern Ukrainian State', held at the NY Princeton Club on Sept. 17, 2016
 
US-UA WG YS IV Highlights
Highlights from US-UA WG Yearly Summit IV: Providing Ukraine with an Annual Report Card, held at the University Club in Washington, DC on June 16, 2016
 
US-UA SD VII Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue VII held on February 25, 2016 in Washington DC
 
UA HES SE: WW2 Legacy
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: 'Contested Ground': The Legacy of WW2 in Eastern Europe, held in Edmonton on October 23-24, 2015
 
Holodomor SE Highlights
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: Taking Measure of the Holodomor, held at the Princeton Club of NY on November 5-6, 2013
 
US-UA SD III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue III held on May 19, 2012 in Chicago, IL

  • Former UA Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko's keynote
 
UEAF Forum VI Highlights
Highlights from UEAF Forum VI, held in Ottawa, Canada on March 7-8, 2012
 
RT XII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XII: PL-UA & TR-UA, held in Washington, DC on Oct 19–20, 2011
 
US-UA ED III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Energy Dialogue III, held in Washington DC
on April 15-16, 2008
 
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