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Roundtable “Crimea and Ukraine Tomorrow”: Ukrainian Government Should Get Actively Involved in Resolving Crimea Crisis by Assuming the Role of Coordinator of International Communities


Kyiv, 10 March 2014 – Leaders of Crimean Tatar community and Ukrainian experts have met at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. They discussed various dimensions of the relationships between Crimea and Ukraine, including the economy, energy, administrative relations, and the humanitarian aspects. They also discussed possible scenarios of the situation with Russian invasion in Crimea.

Roundtable participants:

– Andriy Yermolayev, Director of New Ukraine Strategic Research Institute

– Bohdan Yaremenko, former deputy Consul General of Ukraine in Turkey

– Valery Chaliy, deputy director of Razumkov Institute

– Volodymyr Dubrovsky, Senior Economist, CASE Україна

– Volodymyr Kazarin, profession, head of the Society for International Concord

– Ivan Kompan, finance professor, Edinburg Business School in Eastern Europe

– Ihor Holubakha, head of Ukrainian Tour Operator Association

– Ihor Kabanenko, former First Deputy of the General Army Headquarters of Ukraine

– Ihor Semyvolos, Director of Center for Middle Eastern Studies

– Ilmi Umerov, Head of Bakhchysaray Regional State Administration

– Mykhailo Honchar, Director for Energy Programs, “Nomos” Center

– Natalia Belitser, expert, Pylyp Orlyk Democracy Institute

– Oleksiy Skoryk, President, Foundation for Development of Crimea

– Refat Chubarov, head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis

– Sergey Kunitsyn, Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea

– Yulia Tyshchenko, program manager for civic society development

– Yuriy Hanushchak, Global Policy Institute expert

– Dmitriy Makarov, human rights activist

– Moderator – Katya Gorchinskaya, deputy editor-in-chief, Kyiv Post

All participants of the round table agree that the conflict must, beyond doubt, be resolved diplomatically. Quick actions and solutions are required from the international community. At the same time, the Ukrainian government must get actively involved by assuming the role of the coordinator of international communities. Former Deputy Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Igor Kabanenko said that, ‘clear messages must sent by Ukraine in order to avoid this “marriage”. If we want tangible results from our allies, we need a team of Ukrainian experts from the Interior and Defense Ministries to work at NATO. There is no such team so far.’

The participants have also discussed the issue of Crimea’s dependence on Ukrainian resources. Mikhail Gonchar, Director of Energy Programs at the Nomos Center said, ‘Crimea and Russia are well aware of the peninsula’s shortage of resources. It can be self-sustainable only if it is connected with the Mykolayiv, Kherson, Odessa and other southern regions.’ The speakers also voiced their concern that Russia may not stop in Crimea and will move further on to the southeaster regions. That is why Ukraine should prepare for defend this part of the country as soon as possible.

The participants emphasized that time is of essence and that the best way to go is to react quickly. The experts discussed preparation of defense actions and introduction of sanctions by the West which will be implemented after the referendum on 16 March. Valeriy Chalyi, Deputy General Director of the Razumkov Center, underlined, ‘I assure you that quick decision-making mechanisms should be engaged in a situation like this. Actions should be taken before, not after, the referendum. We should prevent aggression, not react to it. Preventive actions must be taken.’

In addition, actions should be taken not only to react to political and military challenges but also to develop humanitarian assistance options and create bases to provide people with everything they need. Dmitriy Makarov, a human rights activist, said, ‘Ukrainian citizens in Crimea do not understand how they should act after the referendum. Should they get ready for evacuation? What should they do and how can they get assistance? There is no answer for those people.’

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