"What should be the strategy of Ukraine and the world towards Russia after our victory?" was the key issue on the agenda of a new panel discussion held as part of the LB.ua and EFI Group's joint project New Country in Kyiv on 25 October.
Participants in the discussion included:
- Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine;
- Serhiy Zhadan, writer, volunteer;
- Vitaliy Hayduk, businessman, founder of ISD Corporation, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of MIM-Kyiv;
- Ihor Liski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EFI Group;
- Vira Aheyeva, Professor at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Shevchenko Prize winner.
The discussion was moderated by Sonya Koshkina, editor-in-chief of LB.ua.
Some of the key questions addressed by the panel were:
- What should be Ukraine's strategy towards Russia?
- Why do our Western partners have no consolidated vision of what Russia should look like after the war? What are the possible options? Which are the most favourable and unfavourable for us?
- What should be a new social contract between Ukrainian society, government and business to further contain Russia? How can we protect ourselves from revanchist sentiments in Russian society similar to what happened in Germany between the two world wars? What should be the role of Ukrainian cultural narratives here? How about educational ones?
- How can we keep the world interested in Ukraine even after the active phase of the war is over?
- How can we remind the world that it was not Putin who fought against us, but the entire Russian people, so one should not be looking for "good Russians" or talking about their suffering?
According to NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov, after US President Joe Biden's statement about the need to build a new world order, Ukraine should decide where we fit into this new world order and what our mission is.
"For a very long time, on the one hand, we believed that Russia was our friend, our partner, including in the energy sector. But on the other hand, we were focused on the European Union, the Anglo-Saxon world. So this period is coming to an end. We have to make the final choice, and unfortunately, this choice may not depend on us, but on the policy the world adopts," Danilov said.
"Any dialogue with Russia is impossible now," says writer Serhiy Zhadan.
"How can there be a dialogue with a country that is at war with you? Obviously, it is impossible. Assuming that the war ends, it will still be a very difficult, painful, and complicated process to establish any kind of dialogue. I can't imagine a Russian Willy Brandt coming to Popasna, for example, and kneeling there. With all the rich imagination of a writer, I can't imagine this," he adds.
Ihor Liski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EFI Group, also considers the topic of Russia's future to be extremely complex, but it requires discussion as it is part of the security architecture.
"Everyone is avoiding this topic because there is a war going on, people are dying, there is hatred, there is a great demand for justice, there is a great demand for punishment of Russia, for punishment of Russians who allowed their government to unleash this war. Nevertheless, the question of what Russia will be like is important for our security architecture, for the place we will take in the European security architecture, for our logistics routes, for our economy, and for the future we are building for ourselves for the next generations," Liski concluded.
Fuller speeches by all panelists - texts and videos – will be available on LB.ua soon.