Participants of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch discussed the ways of international integration for Ukraine

On 25 January 2013, Victor Pinchuk Foundation and international investment advisory group EastOne held the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch entitled “Ukraine: East or West – The Wrong Dilemma?” at the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Among the speakers at the lunch panel discussion were Yuriy Boyko, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine; Leonid Kozhara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; Javier Solana, President of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics; Arseniy Yatseniuk, Leader, Party “Batkivshchyna”, member of the Ukrainian Parliament; Vitali Klitschko, Leader, Party “Udar”, member of the Ukrainian Parliament; Alexei Kudrin, Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, Board Trustees Head of the Fund of the European University in St. Petersburg. The Chairman of the Management Board & CEO of Sberbank Herman Gref; member of the Ukrainian Parliament Petro Poroshenko, and President of Poland (1995-2005) Aleksander Kwasniewski joined the discussion.

The panelists discussed the integration processes in Europe and Ukraine’s participation in them. Yuriy Boyko stated that the European integration course of Ukraine is a single option. “According to our law and our President’s position, Ukraine has chosen the European Union”, he said.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Leonid Kozhara, Ukraine intends to join the Customs Union’s institutional agreements while not abandoning European integration. He reminded that the EU officials made clear declarations that the membership of Ukraine in the Customs Union is consistent with free trade zone with the EU. “We stick to the same view. However, in institutional terms, Ukraine may join any organization as an observer, as a country maintaining statuses in trade and economic relations.”

Alexei Kudrin believes that the optimum way for Ukraine would be accession to the Customs Union today while maintaining the long-term European perspective. When Ukraine’s economy switches to growth one can speak of moving towards the EU, Russia’s ex-Minister of Finance thinks.

In his turn, Arseniy Yatseniuk considers it impossible Ukraine may accede the interstate association – the Customs Union - without sharing its ideology. “We don’t want to join a new Soviet Union. Even though Mr. Medvedev said that the Customs Union was not the Soviet Union. This is so because the Soviet Union had the ideology, and what kind of ideology does the Customs Union practice?”, he noted.

According to Aleksander Kwasniewski, the EU integration would bring Ukraine far more economic and political advantages whatever attractive the accession to the Customs Union seems to look today. The way to Europe is not simple, the Polish politician acknowledges. And the EU very often really resembles a strict teacher demanding that a candidate country completes its “home assignments”. But, in fact, the better the country copes with its “assignments”, the more direct benefits it may get from integration with Europe.

Photo gallery of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch will available on the official website of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

Special Partner of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch is Smart Holding.

The 9th Davos Ukrainian LunchPartners:
Alfa Bank
Horizon Capital

The Davos Ukrainian Lunch is the most preeminent international gathering dedicated to Ukraine, held annually in Davos at the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. It is dedicated to giving world leaders an opportunity to learn about and discuss Ukraine’s political and economic situation and challenge. The Victor Pinchuk Foundation and international investment advisory group EastOne have been hosting the Davos Ukrainian Lunch since 2005. Since then the Ukrainian Lunch featured, among others, Viktor Yanukovych, Carl Bildt, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Bronislaw Komorowski, Chris Patten, George Soros, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Thomas Friedman, Arseniy Yatseniuk and others.

A day earlier, on Thursday, 24 January, 2013 at 12:30 (GMT+1) in Davos (Switzerland) the Victor Pinchuk Foundation held its 6th Davos Philanthropic Roundtable " - Online Education Changing the World" on the occasion of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.

The panel brought together Thomas Friedman, Foreign Affairs columnist, The New York Times (moderator); Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Rafael Reif, President, MIT; Larry Summers, President Emeritus, Harvard University; Daphne Koller, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Coursera; Sebastian Thrun, Founder, Udacity; Peter Thiel, Partner, Founders Fund; and Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia.

Speakers and participants discussed the strategies that philanthropists had been using to expand and accelerate online education to give millions of people access to high level education and the chance to a better life.

Video of the 6th Davos Philanthropic Roundtable " - Online Education Changing the World" is available at

Contacts for media inquiries:
Dennis Kazvan
Communications Director of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: +380 44 494 11 48

Organizers of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch: 

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation is an international, private, non-partisan, philanthropic foundation based in Ukraine. The Foundation was established in 2006 by businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk. Its goal is to empower future generations to become the change-makers of tomorrow. To achieve this goal, it develops a variety of projects, builds partnerships in Ukraine and worldwide, and invests in three main areas:

  • in people, to boost human capital,
  • in society, to promote social responsibility,
  • in the world, to foster a more integrated world. 

The projects of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation include the network of neonatal centres ‘Cradles of Hope’, the largest private scholarship program in Ukraine ‘Zavtra.UA’, the ‘WorldWideStudies’ project encouraging Ukrainian youth to get Master’s degrees in the world’s best universities, the center for contemporary art PinchukArtCentre, and the international network YES (Yalta European Strategy) to support Ukraine’s European integration.

The Foundation is a member of the European Foundation Center and the Ukrainian Grantmakers Forum. It cooperates with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Brookings Institution, the Peterson Institute for International Economics and other non-governmental organizations.

More information at:


EastOneis an international investment advisory group that provides strategic and investment management services to a diversified portfolio of assets across multiple geographical and industrial sectors. The group was established in 2007 by Victor Pinchuk. EastOne provides a broad range of services to assets under its mandate: portfolio strategy development and implementation, sector expertise, long-term business planning, support for M&A and capital market transactions, risk and performance management. In addition, the Group advises on corporate social responsibility, broader social innovations and not-for-profit activities. EastOne provides services to a portfolio of over twenty companies and large scale projects, among them the Interpipe Pipe and Wheel Company, Ukrainian media investments (TV Channels: STB, Novy and ICTV; Fakty i Komentarii newspaper, Ekonomika publishing house (InvestGazeta, Delo, and other).

EastOne is headquartered in London, with its offices in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.

More info at

Special Partner of the 9th Davos Ukrainian Lunch isSmart Holding.

Smart Holding is one of the largest investment groups in Ukraine with focus on key industries of the economy, including metals & mining, oil & gas, shipbuilding, real estate and agriculture.

The Headquarters of the Group is Smart Holding, PJSC.

Holding’s strategy is aimed at efficient management of diversified portfolio of the Group’s assets by increasing its cost in the long run and search of new directions for business development. Smart Holding’s investment activities are focused on the investments both in Ukraine and CIS and Eastern Europe countries. Smart Holding participates in the projects as a strategic and portfolio investor.

Learn more at

The 9th Davos Ukrainian LunchPartners:

Alfa Bank

Alfa-Bank (Ukraine) is a fully fledged commercial bank, which is a member of international financial and industrial consortium Alfa Group. The bank is a leader within all segments of Ukraine’s banking services market. As rated by the National Bank of Ukraine, Alfa-Bank ranks among the top ten major banks in terms of assets and is one of the leaders in corporate savings and deposits, while its retail savings and loan portfolio has demonstrated exuberant growth in 2012. Major enterprises, both public and privately owned, being of core value in their respective industries, are among corporate clients of Alfa-Bank (Ukraine).

Horizon Capital

Horizon Capital is a leading private equity firm managing three funds with aggregate capital of over $600 million and investing in mid-cap companies in Ukraine and the region. For investors in Emerging Europe, Horizon Capital offers unparalleled regional knowledge, business networks, market leadership and outstanding growth and profit potential. The firm is well positioned to seek a superior rate of return on investments due to its successful track record and disciplined investment approach.

Learn more at

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