Donbas in a limbo – conflict resolution or concession?

Belgium, Brussels, 1000, Arts 56, Da Vinci Room, Avenue des Arts 56
Tuesday, December 03 2019 / 13:00
14:30

Ukraine held Presidential elections in early 2019. In the second round of these elections, political novice Volodymyr Zelensky defeated incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Due to his lack of previous political experience, Zelensky’s victory initially caused concern in the West. Ukraine’s partners were asking how an inexperienced leader could lead a country that is fighting a war against Russian backed separatists in the Eastern parts of the country and stand against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although many are still asking these questions, Zelensky’s first trips abroad and his recruitment decisions have eased some of the worst fears. Yet, Zelensky is still faced with an armed conflict in the Donbas region, a Kremlin that is determined to show the world that a Ukraine outside the Russian sphere of influence will be failed state and a significant domestic corruption problem. Thus, this event will focus on questions such as: what is the future of the Minsk II process? How effectively can Zelensky exercise authority over Ukraine’s armed forces? What expectations do ordinary Ukrainians have vis à vis the conflict in the Donbas? How are Ukraine's relations with Russia likely to evolve under Zelensky?