Transatlantic Forum: “Why the Ukraine Crisis Endures: The Interests and Motives of Ukraine, Russia, the E.U. and the U.S.”

January 10, 2018

The French-American Foundation hosted its fourth meeting of the Transatlantic Forum on Wednesday, January 10. Assembling French and American leaders around a communal table at a French restaurant in Tribeca, the “salon dinner” provided the space for an open discussion on the reasons the Ukraine crisis persists.  The Foundation welcomed Elise Giuliano, Lecturer in the Political Science Department at Columbia University and Director of Graduate Studies of the MA program at The Harriman Institute, as the keynote speaker.

Professor Giuliano’s research focuses on the formation of popular opinion and on ethnic politics.  Throughout the dinner she engaged Forum members in a thought-provoking exchange on the interests and motives of Ukraine, Russia, the E.U. and the U.S. She addressed the causes of the crisis and examined the motives of the key actors responsible for the ongoing situation.

The war in east Ukraine seems to have turned into another frozen conflict in post-Soviet Eurasia with no practical solution currently in the horizon. While the Minsk II agreement has more or less functioned to reduce violence on the ground in the east, neither Russia nor Ukraine has made progress toward implementing the terms of the agreement. The war continues to drain the resources of every actor involved and a solution seems as elusive as ever. Professor Giuliano’s excellent remarks and great knowledge and insight helped our members get an in-depth understanding of the circumstances. The group analyzed and debated the steps to defreeze the conflict and wrapped up the discussion by examining the relationship between France and Russia.