Ukraine's Future: The Challenges and Impact of Governance in Ukraine


July 7, 2011, 12:00 AM EDT
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC
Anders Åslund (PIIE), Zbigniew Brzezinski (former US National Security Advisor), Pavlo Klimkin (Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine), Anders Åslund (PIIE), Steven Pifer (Brookings Institution) and Damon Wilson (Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council)

Event Summary

The state of governance in Ukraine today is the subject of widespread debate. Ukrainian and international observers have cited corruption, flaws in the October 2010 local elections, inappropriate actions by the Security Service of Ukraine, and prosecution of opposition political figures as evidence of democratic backsliding under Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The president and his government deny these charges, contending that centralizing some authority is required to bring about order, govern effectively, and implement difficult and overdue economic reforms. What is happening with the state of governance in Ukraine? How is it affecting the Ukrainian economy and Ukraine's foreign relations, particularly with Europe and the United States? And how should the West engage the Yanukovych government and Ukrainian civil society to protect democratic and market-oriented progress?

On July 7, 2011, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings and the Atlantic Council cohosted a conference to address these and related questions. The conference opened with a discussion with Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. Panels with leading American and European experts examined "The Challenges of Governance in Ukraine" and "The Impact on the Economy and Foreign Policy." In a keynote discussion, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor, offered brief comments and took audience questions.

Event Materials

Handout: How Latvia Came through the Financial Crisis [PDF]
July 7, 2011

Book: How Ukraine Became a Market Economy and Democracy
Anders Åslund
March 2009


Welcome and Introduction

  • Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Conversation with Pavlo Klimkin, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine

  • Moderator: Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council

Panel 1: The Challenges of Governance in Ukraine

  • Moderator: Anders Åslund, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Panelists:
    • Adrian Karatnycky, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council, New York
    • David Kramer, President, Freedom House, Washington
    • Andriy Kulykov, Talk Show Host, Svoboda Slova, ICTV
    • Oleh Rybachuk, Chairman, United Action Center, Kyiv
    • Victoria Sjumar, Executive Director, Institute of Mass Information, Kyiv

Panel 2: Impact on the Economy and Foreign Policy

  • Moderator: Steven Pifer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
  • Panelists:
    • Andriy Fialko, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Ukraine, Kyiv
    • James Sherr, Senior Fellow, Royal Institute for International Affairs, London
    • Olga Shumylo-Tapiola, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Brussels
    • Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President, Atlantic Council, Washington
    • Jorge Zukoski, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, Kyiv

Keynote address

  • Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US National Security Advisor Counselor and Trustee, Center for Strategic and International Studies
    • Chair: C. Fred Bergsten, Director, Peterson Institute for International Economics