EU Eastern Policy: shaping relations with Russia and Ukraine

3. novembra 2015 - Congress Hall of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Hlboká cesta 2, Bratislava



  • Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association


  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
  • Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Media partner



The aim of the conference is to discuss EU policy towards Eastern Europe with focus on topical issues that frame its current agenda with Russia and Ukraine. The one-day conference will, first, examine prospects for further development of the EU sanctions policy towards Russia in light of the implementation of the Minsk agreements and investigation of shooting of the Malaysian aircraft MH17; second, evaluate situation in Ukraine with focus on reform progress and domestic political (un)stability; and finally, analyse potential for cooperation between the EU members states in Central and South Eastern Europe and Ukraine in security of natural gas supply against Russia’s moves in her export policy. The conference discussion will also aim to reflect upon a revised European Neighbourhood Policy that will be proposed by the European Commission in autumn 2015, and to contribute to the preparation of the EU global strategy for foreign and security policy recently started by the European External Action Service.


8:00-8:45             Registration of participants

8:45-9:00             Welcome          

Juraj Stern, Chair of the Board of Directors, Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava

Anne Seyfferth, Director of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Czech and Slovak Republics, Prague

Alexander Duleba, Director, Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava


9:00-9:45             Keynote speech (WATCH VIDEO)

Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic



9:45-10:15           Coffee-break   

10:15-12:15        Panel I. EU-Russia: future of sanctions (WATCH VIDEO)

Questions: What are the consequences of EU sanctions on Russia and vice versa? Does the Minsk 2 agreement provide a solution to the Donbas conflict? What do outcomes of the MH17 investigation mean for the sanctions policy of the EU? Is there any chance for a Russia-Ukraine agreement on Crimea? What are the red lines for the EU when it comes to eventual review of the sanctions on Russia? What are short-term and mid-term scenarios for EU-Russia relations?


Vladimír Bilčík, Senior Fellow, Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava


Arkadiy Moshes, Director, EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia Research Programme, Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Helsinki

Lyubov Shishelina, Head, Central and Eastern Europe Studies, Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Oleksandr Sushko, Research Director, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Kyiv

Kai-Olaf Lang, Deputy Head of Research Division on EU Integration, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Berlin



12:15-13:15        Lunch

13:15-15:15        Panel II. EU-Ukraine: reforms and political stability (WATCH VIDEO)

Questions: What has been achieved by the current government of Ukraine in the field of reforms? What are major challenges Ukraine is coping with? How strong is public support for current political leaders? What do October local elections mean for leading political actors? How is the implementation of association agreement with the EU progressing? How efficient is the EU support for reforms in Ukraine? What are short-term scenarios for political developments in Ukraine?


Pavol Demeš, Senior Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., and Board Member of the European Endowment for Democracy, Bratislava


Olexiy Haran, Professor, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Maria Zolkina, Analyst, Democratic Initiatives Fund, Kyiv

Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director General, DG NEAR, European Commission

Kataryna Wolczuk, Deputy Director and Senior Lecturer, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham

Grzegorz Gromadzki, Open Europe Program, Batory Foundation, Warsaw Discussion



15:15-15:45        Coffee-break

15:45-17:45        Panel III. Central Europe-Ukraine-Russia: energy security (WATCH VIDEO)

Questions: What are consequences of Russia’s plan to stop transit of natural gas via Ukraine for energy security of Central and South-Eastern European countries? What is the potential for regional cooperation in the field of security of gas supply? Is there a rationale and/or need in expanding the Energy Union so that it includes also Energy Community countries? What are the prospects for creating functioning regional gas market with participation of Ukraine?


Alexander Duleba, Director, Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava


Michael Gonchar, President, Centre for Global Studies Strategy XXI (Kyiv)

Louisa Slavkova, Programme & National Office Coordinator, European Council on Foreign Relations Sofia Office

András Deák, Senior Fellow, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Jan Osička, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno

Karel Hirman, Member of the Board, Slovak Foreign Policy Association


17:45                     Concluding remarks

Alexander Duleba, Director, Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, Bratislava

18:30                     Glass of wine