At the end of August, the Foundation’s good friends and co-founders of the Center for Liberal Modernity (Berlin), Marieluise Beck and Ralf Fücks, paid another visit to Ukraine. This was the third visit of our German partners to the country since the outbreak of the full-scale war. They tirelessly continue to support Ukraine and advocate for the needs of our people and the Army in the Bundestag.
Marieluise and Ralf spent the first days of their working visit in Kyiv. Within the framework of the Foundation’s Ukraine in Europe: Parliamentary Dimension Project, they had several fruitful meetings, both open and closed, with Ukrainian office holders, politicians, cultural activists, civil society and business representatives.
The German guests spent their first evening in the Ukrainian capital in the company of philosopher, writer and president of Ukrainian PEN Centre Volodymyr Yermolenko, literary critic and head of the international department at Ukraine Crisis Media Center Tetyana Ogarkova, philosopher Vakhtang Kebuladze and British journalist and writer Peter Pomerantsev. This meeting became a platform for cultural exchange, discussion of ideas and values during the war.
The next day for the team of the Center for Liberal Modernity began with a roundtable discussion with representatives of civil society.
“Germany’s assistance to Ukraine is still insufficient. Yes, Germany is increasing its support, providing new weapons that they did not even want to talk about before, but it is all being done too slowly,” said Marieluise Beck. “The decisions that are being made now should have been made much earlier.”
Ms. Beck said that efforts should be made to continue to put pressure on German MPs to increase military aid to Ukraine and strengthen sanctions against Russia. Marilouise assured that from their side they will continue to do so in the future.
Our German partners also held private discussions with Oleksandr Merezhko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Foreign Policy and Interparliamentary Cooperation, Rostyslav Ohryzko, Head of the First Territorial Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, former Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Anton Korynevych, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The main topics of discussion included global security, Ukraine’s role in regional processes, and prospects for further cooperation between the two countries.
On August 21, Marieluise and Ralf attended the international conference, “Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine. Justice to be Served”. During the event, a communiqué was signed in which the participants called for the creation of an international tribunal that would try Russia’s top political leadership for their crimes.
On the same day, in Kyiv, the German partners held private meetings with Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chair of the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee on Ukraine’s Integration into the European Union, and Olha Stefanishyna, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine. During these conversations, they discussed cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union, reforms and challenges facing our country on its way to the EU.
Marieluise and Ralf also visited the Office of President of Ukraine, where they spoke with Rostyslav Shurma, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.
An important part of the visit was the expert forum on the eve of the Third Summit of the International Crimean Platform. The team of the Center for Liberal Modernity took part in the discussion on ways to overcome Russian aggression in Crimea and the international community’s efforts within the context of the peninsula attempted annexation. Marilouise Beck and Ralph Fücks once again supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
On August 23, a private event was held in Kyiv with the participation of Ukrainian security experts and journalists.
“The German authorities have already come a long way towards Ukraine, but they are still afraid of escalations in the conflict, afraid of the consequences of the collapse of the Russian regime,” said Ralf Fücks during the meeting. “So, we need to convince German leaders that Ukraine is willing and able to win. And what means Ukraine needs to gain an advantage in this war.”
On August 24 and 25, Marilouise Beck and Ralf Fücks spent time in the Kharkiv region. As part of the trip, they visited the frontline city of Izyum, where they met with the mayor Valerii Marchenko to discuss current issues. The German partners also talked to local volunteers and visited the Kharkiv-based NGO Palianytsia charity initiative, which provides food for the military.
As part of the working visit, Ms. Beck and Mr. Fücks met with Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov and Deputy Head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Yevhen Ivanov. They discussed crucial issues of security, defense and humanitarian situation in the region.
We are incredibly grateful to the team of the Center for Liberal Modernity for organizing and implementing this visit. It was an important event for discussing topical issues, strengthening cooperation between Ukraine and Germany, and supporting our country in the context of a full-scale war.
Based on the results of the trip to Ukraine, an article by Ralf Fücks, co-authored with Marieluise Beck, was published, which you can read by following the link.
The Ukraine in Europe: Parliamentary Dimension Project is being implemented by East Europe Foundation together with the Berlin-based LibMod – Zentrum Liberale Moderne with funding from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.