Ukraine and V4 countries: promoting better understanding
The International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS) with the support of the International Visegrad Fund initiates the project “Ukraine and V4 countries: promoting better understanding”.
Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Hungary);
Institute for Economic and Social Reforms INEKO (Slovakia);
The crisis in relations between Ukraine and its Western neighboring states became one of the main developments in 2017 and testified the crisis of both Ukrainian foreign policy identity in general and Ukrainian neighborhood policy in particular. The Ukrainian-Hungarian, Ukrainian-Polish contradictions are only a reflection of the deep-seated crisis of good-neighborliness, while problems in bilateral relations have wider and deeper dimensions. One of the key challenges faced by the region is the urgent analysis of relations between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors and elaboration of policy recommendations to prevent their further deterioration. Ukraine should rethink its foreign policy goals and priorities, considering current internal and external challenges and dynamic processes. Establishment of an expert dialogue between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors can become an impetus for such a process.
The overall project goal is to improve understanding between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors through
- the establishment of an expert dialogue and tackling existing contradictions by efforts of civil society and expert community;
- facilitating transformation of the current lose-lose situation to a win-win partnership.
Current situation poses a regional challenge needed to be addressed by a new approach on good neighborliness. Establishment of continuous communication and dialogue among experts from Ukraine on one side, and experts from Hungary, Slovak Republic and Poland from the other, would contribute to increasing awareness on the logic of internal process in abovementioned countries, researching the contradictions in the countries’ relations, and elaborating new approaches towards advantageous and pragmatic bilateral relations.
Ensuring good and sustainable neighborhood relations between Ukraine and its Western neighboring countries is crucial for regional stability with a view of the existing security threats and challenges in the region. Elaboration of a new updated approach towards the relations between Ukraine and its V4 neighbors is necessary to improve and strengthen regional partnership and prevent the occurrence of new contradictions in the future. Escalation of contradictions between the neighboring countries has a direct impact on the security and cooperation in the region, while strengthening of regional cooperation at the expert level will facilitate the process of regional cohesion as well as promoting V4 values in the region contributing to the Ukrainian democratic transformation.