Participants of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch discussed the ways of international integration for Ukraine
On 25 January 2013, international investment advisory group EastOne and Victor Pinchuk Foundation held the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch entitled “Ukraine: East or West – The Wrong Dilemma?” at the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.
Among the speakers at the lunch panel discussion were Yuriy Boyko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine; Leonid Kozhara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; Javier Solana, President of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics; Arseniy Yatseniuk, Leader, Party “Batkivshchyna”, member of the Ukrainian Parliament; Vitali Klitschko, Leader, Party “Udar”, member of the Ukrainian Parliament; Alexei Kudrin, Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Board Trustees Head of the Fund of the European University in St. Petersburg. The Chairman of the Management Board & CEO of Sberbank Herman Gref; member of the Ukrainian Parliament Petro Poroshenko, and President of Poland (1995-2005) Aleksander Kwasniewski joined the discussion.
The panelists discussed the integration processes in Europe and Ukraine’s participation in them. Yuriy Boyko stated that the European integration course of Ukraine is a single option. “According to our law and our President’s position, Ukraine has chosen the European Union”, he said.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara, Ukraine intends to join the Customs Union’s institutional agreements while not abandoning European integration. He reminded that the EU officials made clear declarations that the membership of Ukraine in the Customs Union is consistent with free trade zone with the EU. “We stick to the same view. However, in institutional terms, Ukraine may join any organization as an observer, as a country maintaining statuses in trade and economic relations.”
Alexei Kudrin believes that the optimum way for Ukraine would be accession to the Customs Union today while maintaining the long-term European perspective. When Ukraine’s economy switches to growth one can speak of moving towards the EU, Russia’s ex-Minister of Finance thinks.
In his turn, Arseniy Yatseniuk considers it impossible Ukraine may accede the interstate association – the Customs Union – without sharing its ideology. “We don’t want to join a new Soviet Union. Even though Mr. Medvedev said that the Customs Union was not the Soviet Union. This is so because the Soviet Union had the ideology, and what kind of ideology does the Customs Union practice?”, he noted.
According to Aleksander Kwasniewski, the EU integration would bring Ukraine far more economic and political advantages whatever attractive the accession to the Customs Union seems to look today. The way to Europe is not simple, the Polish politician acknowledges. And the EU very often really resembles a strict teacher demanding that a candidate country completes its “home assignments”. But, in fact, the better the country copes with its “assignments”, the more direct benefits it may get from integration with Europe.
Photo gallery of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch will available on the official website of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.
Special Partner of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch is Smart Holding.
The 9th Davos Ukrainian LunchPartners:
The Davos Ukrainian Lunch is the most preeminent international gathering dedicated to Ukraine, held annually in Davos at the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. It is dedicated to giving world leaders an opportunity to learn about and discuss Ukraine’s political and economic situation and challenge. The Victor Pinchuk Foundation and international investment advisory group EastOne have been hosting the Davos Ukrainian Lunch since 2005. Since then the Ukrainian Lunch featured, among others, Viktor Yanukovych, Carl Bildt, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Bronislaw Komorowski, Chris Patten, George Soros, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Thomas Friedman, Arseniy Yatseniuk and others.
A day earlier, on Thursday, 24 January, 2013 at 12:30 (GMT+1) in Davos (Switzerland) the Victor Pinchuk Foundation held its 6th Davos Philanthropic Roundtable "RevolutiOnline.edu – Online Education Changing the World" on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.
The panel brought together Thomas Friedman, Foreign Affairs columnist, The New York Times (moderator); Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Rafael Reif, President, MIT; Larry Summers, President Emeritus, Harvard University; Daphne Koller, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Coursera; Sebastian Thrun, Founder, Udacity; Peter Thiel, Partner, Founders Fund; and Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia.
Speakers and participants discussed the strategies that philanthropists had been using to expand and accelerate online education to give millions of people access to high level education and the chance to a better life.
Video of the 6th Davos Philanthropic Roundtable "RevolutiOnline.edu – Online Education Changing the World" is available at youtube.com/pinchukfoundation