Victor Pinchuk Foundation Held a Public Panel Discussion

On December 11, 2017, Victor Pinchuk Foundation held a public panel discussion «Security for Ukraine» with the leading experts on security. Ash Carter, U.S. Secretary of Defense (2015–2017), Wesley K. Clark, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (1997-2000), and Jack Keane, Chairman of the Board, Institute for the Study of War participated in the discussion. It was moderated by Stephen Sackur, Presenter, HARDtalk, BBC World News.

Speaking to Ukrainian students and opinion-leaders the panelists discussed the security of Ukraine in the global context, its perspective of joining NATO, cyber security, fake news dissemination, and other issues.

Describing the new world order Jack Keane stated: “The post cold-war era that we knew since 1991 is essentially over. We have returned to a big power competition again in the world. Certainly, not of the scale that we used to with Soviet Union but Russia clearly is dangerous, very capable, and has significant geopolitical ambitious.” He continued saying: “The contours of global security issues are changing right before our eyes, and we have to adjust it here in Ukraine. What Russia was able to do successfully is to blur the line between peace and war in a way we have never seen before […] and it worked and we did not act.”

However, Ash Carter accentuated: “If Russia thought that the annexation of Crimea and its intrusions in Eastern Europe were going to redound to its benefit it has been very wrong. The Ukrainian people, not every single one but overwhelmingly, have opposed and come together in opposition to that intrusion and it strengthened the Ukrainian independence and it strengthened support from outside. So that should give you confidence.”

He assured that “the idea of rapprochement with Russia under those circumstances has no support in the strategic community.”

Addressing the young people in the audience,Wesley K. Clark said: “You have the opportunity that generations of Ukrainians wanted over the centuries to have an independent, western-oriented, democratic State in Ukraine.” He also explained that it cannot happen immediately as “political institutions have to be crafted. If you want independence, if you want a chance to express your views than you are going to have to put up with a little disorder in this process.”

He emphasised: “The western institutions that have dealt here and have representatives here have been pretty clear that you need to crack down on corruption. It has to be done in order to deliver efficient defence.”

Answering Stephen Sackur’s question regarding Ukrainian perspective on NATO membership, Ash Carter admitted that “NATO also needs to do more with Ukraine. It is important that there is a path to NATO membership for Ukraine.”

Jack Keane expressed his opinion on the issue of referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO: “I think NATO issue with Ukraine is going to be part of the deterrence factor dealing with Russian aggression. I don’t think the referendum is going drive NATO’s decision. I believe what NATO wants is certainly movement towards some of NATO standards that all countries accept. The second thing, it is unreasonable to expect that with Russian boots on the ground inside Ukraine that NATO would accept membership of Ukraine under those conditions. That conditions what have to be removed. And that really is much more of the impact than what referendum would be.”

At the same day, Ash Carter, Wesley K. Clark, and Jack Keane had a meeting together with Ukrainian government officials, parliamentarians, foreign ambassadors, and experts took part in a security round table organized by Victor Pinchuk Foundation. In addition, Stephen Sackur met with the recipients of the Foundation’s Zavtra.UA and WorldWideStudies scholarship programs.

Images from the event are available following the link.

This public panel discussion is a part of Public Lectures project launched in 2006 by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. For over a decade, the Foundation has regularly invited leading thinkers, politicians and public figures to Ukraine to discuss challenges facing the world and Ukraine. By organizing opportunities for dialogue between world leaders and Ukrainian students, the Foundation has for a decade contributed to fostering a new generation of responsible leaders.

In previous years, lectures were given, among others, by Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Great Britain (1997-2007); David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (2010-2016); Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States; Joschka Fischer, Vice Chancellor of Germany (1998-2005); Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner; Francis Fukuyama, Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University; Newt Gingrich, the 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; Rudy Giuliani, the 107th Mayor of New York City; Dr. Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Physics; John Kerry, 68th United States Secretary of State; Shimon Peres, the 9th President of Israel; Colin Powell, the 65th US Secretary of State; Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the 66th United States Secretary of State (2005-2009); Javier Solana, High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union (1999-2009) and Secretary General of NATO (1995-1999); Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (1998-2005); Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation; James Wolfensohn, the 9th President of the World Bank Group; Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and others. 

The students of the largest national wide scholarship program Zavtra.UA and scholars of the international education WorldWideStudies program of Victor Pinchuk Foundation regularly attend public lectures by world leaders in Kyiv, where they learn about global perspectives and receive inspiration for their own endeavours.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation is an international, private and non-partisan philanthropic foundation based in Ukraine. It was established in 2006 by businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk. Its goal is to empower the younger generation to change their country and the world. To achieve this, projects have been developed and partnerships have been built in Ukraine and worldwide for a decade. Since 2006, over 125 million USD have been invested in projects to transform Ukraine.

The projects of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation include, among others: the all-Ukrainian network of neonatal Centers Cradles of Hope, the largest private scholarship programme in Ukraine, Zavtra.UA, the WorldWideStudies scholarship programme for Ukrainian students studying abroad, and the contemporary art PinchukArtCentre, the largest art center in Ukraine and the region, giving free-of-charge access to contemporary art to inspire new thinking. The foundation supports the international network YES (Yalta European Strategy), founded in 2004 by Victor Pinchuk, the largest non-government platform in Ukraine and the region to foster Ukraine’s European and global integration.

The foundation supports a crowdfunding platform to foster giving in Ukrainian society, the Philanthropic Marketplace. The Foundation is a member of the European Foundation centre and the Ukrainian Grantmakers Forum. It cooperates with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Atlantic Council, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, and other nongovernmental organizations.

Official website:

For media inquiries please contact the press-office of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation:
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +380 44 494 11 48

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