Shaping Ukraine’s NATO Integration
On December 14th, 2015 GMF hosted in partnership with the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Kyiv, the first workshop in a series of three that addresses the integration of Ukraine inside NATO structures. The three meetings will take stock of Ukraine’s diplomatic engagement with NATO headquarters and the member states, and discuss innovative ways to strengthen Ukraine’s profile as a security provider inside the Alliance. The discussions will informally convene Ukrainian, European and North American practitioners and experts for active brainstorming in an informal atmosphere. The overall objective of the initiative is to formulate actionable recommendations that will help Ukraine to better communicate its priorities and interests inside NATO and the transatlantic community. The conclusion of the discussions will be published in a policy report to be released ahead of the Warsaw Summit in July 2016.
Natalya Nemyliwska, Director of the Kyiv-based NATO Information and Documentation Centre opened the first workshop by welcoming the guests at the event and by outlining the priorities of the NATO centre.
Her remarks were followed by a first panel discussion that focused on understanding the trends and developments inside NATO HQ and member states ‘capital cities which shape Alliance policy toward Ukraine. Speaker included Petr Lunak, Deputy Head, Engagement Section, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO HQ; Matthew Bryza, Non Resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council and Markus Kaim, Senior Fellow, International Security Dept. at SWP Berlin. The discussion was moderated by Bruno Lété, GMF’s Senior Officer for Foreign and Security Policy. Speakers commented on how domestic interests shape European and U.S. policies toward Ukraine, and how these interested are reflected in the North Atlantic Council. They also debated whether the Alliance’s threat perception in Eastern Europe is divided. And whether European and U.S. relations with Russia allegedly impact support for Ukraine. Finally they also focused on events and stakeholders that influence Western policies toward Ukraine, for instance the role of the European Union institutions, the U.S. 2016 election campaign, the German Bundestag or the transatlantic think tank scene.
A second panel discussion followed to address more specially how to strengthen the NATO-Ukraine partnership at the Warsaw Summit 2016. Speakers included David Kramer, Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedom, McCain Institute and Dominik Jankowski, Chief Specialist, Crisis Management Dept. at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The moderator was Volodymyr Dubobvyk, Director of the Center for International Studies at the Odessa Mechnikov University. The panellists discussed what Ukraine can realistically expect from the NATO Summit 2016, and whether Ukrainian and NATO interests are aligned. The panel also addressed which obstacles Ukraine should consider inside European and U.S. politics as the country communicates its priorities across the Alliance. The discussion also explored opportunities for NATO to think more creatively how to help Ukraine respond to aggression and to be more resilient.
The workshop gathered a small but senior group of Ukrainian, European and U.S. practitioners and experts. Each panel discussion included a lively round of exchange between the speakers and the other participants.