Aspen Institute Italy: the second #UkrainianDialogue on how to support Ukraine


It is crucial to tell the international community the truth about the Russian war in Ukraine. Aspen Institute Kyiv launched international #UkrainianDialogues. The project highlights the personal perspective of Ukrainians and gives an opportunity to tell the international society about  how it can help us. On April 13 together with Aspen Institute Italy, the second dialogue was held. The event was moderated by Marta Dassu, Senior Advisor European Affairs at Aspen Institute Italia. Angelo Maria Petroni, Secretary General of Aspen Institute Italy, and Yuliya Tychkivska, Executive Director of Aspen Institute Kyiv made introductory speeches at the beginning of the event. Earlier Aspen Institute Kyiv held the first of the #UkrainianDialogues for Aspen Institute Spain.

Natalie Jaresko: “Russian economy is coming back after an initial decline”

Natalie Jaresko is the Chairperson of the Aspen Institute Kyiv. Natalie thinks that the world has misunderstood the strengths of Ukrainian character and weakness of the Russian. What we see in Bucha and Mariupol are examples of weakness of the Russian character. On the other hand we can see an intense unity of Ukrainians regardless of faith, language, region, previous votes in the elections. Natalie also says that Ukraine is grateful for the support it’s getting from democratic countries but it’s not enough. Because the war is not over. 

— We have been given too little too late military support. We need more, particularly — on the air defense side. Sanctions also have not been enough. We see that the Russian economy is coming back after an initial decline. We see that the dollar resources of Russia are refilling daily by the Europs’ purchase of oil and gas. All of the Russian banks should be sanctioned, all the loopholes where their financial system is functioning should be closed, and approaches of oil and gas from Russia should be stopped. 

Lana Zerkal: “Russia and Putin as well still think that they have unlimited indulgence because the West afraid to ban energy resources”

Lana Zerkal is a Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for European Integration. As well as Natalie Jaresko, Lana also highlighted in her speech the importance of sanctions. She stressed that the oil and gas sphere still brings to the Russian economy approximately one hundred billion dollars, which supports Russian aggression. Lana described the Iranian model on sanctions and said that it could be applied to Russia. It means continuing purchase of Russian gas without financing Russian military machines by preserving all Russian financial resources in European banks accounts. Russia will not be able to interrupt supply, because it’s physically impossible.

—  Russia and Putin as well still think that they have unlimited indulgence because the West is afraid to ban energy resources and to introduce any kind of embargo on energy products. 

Denis Kudin:  The war between Russia and Ukraine is the battle between Asia and Europe

Denis Kudin, the First Deputy Minister of economy, thinks that the war between Russia and Ukraine is the battle between Asia and Europe: the authoritarian and the democratic styles of leadership. In this case Ukraine is pro democratic, pro European country, which expects that European family will accept it as “one of you”.

Denis also shared the vision of 2 parts of the economic recovery plan. There are things that are implemented right now. Among them protection of internal producers. Another part is post-war economic development. Denis stressed that the only way for Ukraine to rebuild the country is to become a member of the European Union in 24 months from the ceasefire agreement.   

— We see ourselves aiming at 4 specific pillars of these development: access to markets of G7 and EU, measures to ensure positive migration, focus on military, aerospace, food production, metal works and engineering, IT, upholding the capital investment level at about 35% of GDP. 

Anton Drobovych: Russians have an imperial optic, which is always russian centric and paternalist

Anton Drobovych, who is the Head of Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, serves at the Kyiv Territorial Defense. He says that the history of Ukraine and its authentic culture like it comes with other nations that were complired first by the Russian Empire and then incorporated into the Soviet Union is almost unknown by ordinary Russians. They have an imperial optic, which is always  russian centric and paternalist. That is the result of education, culture and educational policy of the last few centuries. 

— If we open actual Russian sociology, the de facto silent consensus of the majority of Russians is to accept the crimes of klepto-oligarchic elites on their own if their personal well-being is not harmed and their country is considered strong. In this it is easy to carry out manipulations.