As the seventh anniversary of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine approaches, there has been limited progress towards a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict. In the early days of his presidency, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy put a premium on bringing peace to eastern Ukraine. Now, US President Joe Biden, at the onset of his own presidency, has reiterated both his support for Ukraine and his willingness to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin. On January 26 in his first phone call with Putin, President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. On February 1, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed strong US support for Ukraine battling Kremlin aggression. Do these statements suggest greater American support for Ukraine and a more active role in negotiations? How can Ukraine and its partners work together to secure a lasting solution to the conflict in the Donbas and finally get Putin out of Ukraine?
David Kramer, senior fellow at Florida International University’s Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, Dr. Hanna Shelest, director of the Security Studies Program at The Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism,” Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and Andriy Zahorodniuk, Ukraine’s former minister of defense, join to discuss these important issues. Ambassador John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, moderates.
Waging peace in Eastern Ukraine
Following more than six years of conflict in Ukraine’s east, diplomatic efforts to end the violence are still punctuated by episodes of military confrontation in Donbas. In his first major interview of 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that if an easy solution to the war existed, someone would have found it already. With more than 1.4 million people displaced and over 13,000 dead, the leaders of the Normandy Format nations of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, met most recently in December 2019 to negotiate solutions to the conflict, with little progress emerging from the talks. Now, there’s hope that US President Joe Biden can bring renewed focus to the peace efforts.
Mon, Sep 21, 2020
Ukraine’s veterans from the war in the Donbas are at the crossroads of major changes occurring within Ukrainian society today, but a lack of support for veterans creates a critical void in Ukraine’s national security and hobbles its transition to democracy.
Mon, Oct 12, 2020
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy won election last year with populist promises of peace with Russia, but the realities of ongoing Kremlin aggression mean a more pragmatic approach is now necessary.
Wed, Sep 30, 2020
Ukraine unveiled a new National Security Strategy in September 2020 that clearly identifies Russia as the enemy and sets out NATO membership as the end goal of the country’s security policy.
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.