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10th Ukraine Breakfast Debate “Confrontation in the Azov Sea”

On 25 November 2018 Russian military vessels attacked three Ukrainian boats that attempted to pass the Strait of Kerch and the illegally build Kerch bridge (connecting the Russian Feder­ation with the Crimean peninsula) on their way to the port of Mariupol. The Azov Sea moved thereby for the first time in the focus of the inter­na­tional media and Ukraine back into the public debate. Even though this was by far not the first incident in the Kerch Strait, it was the most momentous one. In reaction to this youngest military escalation the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) imposed a martial law which is active for 30 days and affects the bordering Oblasts to Russia, the Republic of Moldova (Transnistria) and the Black Sea. In light of these crucial devel­op­ments, many new questions could be asked: Which conse­quences has the martial law on the presi­dential and parlia­mentary elections in 2019? How is Ukraine’s security and geopo­litical situation changing and how is the Ukrainian military affected? Which options for European and Western reactions are currently discussed in Ukraine?

These questions among others were answered during our 10th Ukraine Breakfast Debate devoted to the topic “Confrontation in the Azov Sea: Possible Conse­quences for Ukraine’s Political Future and Security Situation”. The discussion took place on Thursday, 13 December 2018 together with our expert Petro Burkovskyi, Senior Fellow at the Ilko Kucheriv Democ­ratic Initia­tives Foundation (DIF, Kyiv) and head of the Center for Advanced Russian Studies at the National Institute for Strategic Studies (NISS, Kyiv).

The event was organised within the framework of our project “Platform for Analytics and Inter­cul­tural Commu­ni­cation” (PAIC) which aims at promoting profes­sional expertise among Ukrainian think tanks, creating synergies between German and Ukrainian think tanks and trans­ferring knowledge about devel­op­ments in Ukraine to Germany. PAIC is conducted in close cooper­ation with the Ilko Kucheriv Democ­ratic Initia­tives Foundation and the think tanks devel­opment and research initiative think twice UA and is kindly supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

A full report will follow shortly.