Internal Policy

ICPS co-organized forum on national reconciliation in Sloviansk

07.07.2015

On 5 July 2015, the International Centre for Policy Studies co-organized a forum on "Donbas Ukraine. Agenda", which was held in the eastern city of Sloviansk.

 

During the forum, within the framework of the project on "Initiating the Participatory National Dialogue in Ukraine", the ICPS held a round table on "National Dialogue: Overcoming the Past, Living through the Present, Building the Future" and a discussion panel on "Reconciliation Policy: Proposals from Civil Society"

Project Coordinator Olena Zakharova, who attended the forum, spoke about the aims and results of the project. She noted that the project goal was to tackle the most pressing and relevant issues currently faced by various Ukrainian regions. Ms Zakharova added that over the last year, Ukrainian society became more homogeneous. However, Donbas has remained the main fault line in Ukraine. 

The current conflict in eastern Ukraine is very complex: it is a multilayered conflict consisting of three layers:

- global level -  a conflict between the leading global actors on the world stage, which also involves  Russia's attempts to restore its once lost position of power on the global arena;

- regional level - a collapse of post-Soviet relations and Ukraine-Russia confrontation;

- local level - the dismantling of state institutions in Ukraine after a change of government, which triggered off disintegration processes in the country.

According to Olena Zakharova, the possible scenarios for Donbas include autonomy for this region, which means that this territory will be simply abandoned by Ukrainian government. However, this scenario is not very popular with Ukrainian citizens, Ms Zakharova says. The more likely scenario is either isolation or reintegration of Donbas into Ukraine. There are fears that the isolation scenario might be secretly favoured by the government. Ms Zakharova believes that isolation is the road to the freezing of the conflict instead of its resolution. 

Among the attendees was Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine. He warned the participants against forgetting about problems faced not only by Donbas but also by other Ukrainian regions. Mr Waschuk stressed that all domestic resources should be employed to reach national reconciliation in the country. 

It is noteworthy that the forum aroused great interest among the target audience and ultimately brought together representatives of Sloviansk's local authorities and civil society and representatives of various Ukrainian ministries, MPs, Ukrainian experts and opinion makers etc to discuss the ways to reach national reconciliation. This serves as another proof that there is high public demand for national dialogue and reconciliation between Donbas and the rest of Ukraine.

More pictures are available here 

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Internal Policy

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