Ukraine: what is the assessment of the first year of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s presidency?
24 June 2020, 19:22

Leo Litra presented the new research “One year of Zelenskyy’s presidency: one step forward, one step back” at the event of the french think-tank Ifri (Paris) “Ukraine: what is the assessment of the first year of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s presidency?”, organized in partnership with the New Europe Center.


Key points:

  • After the first year of Zelenskyy’s presidency we did not see the radical changes in Ukraine’s foreign policy, yet the new president has reshuffled accents: Zelenskyy is very much centered on Donbas, while the EU and NATO are the secondary priority for him.
  • According to Zelenskyy, Ukraine has to play a more independent role in the international relations, he does not want Ukraine to be subordinated to any other state.
  • While Poroshenko had very black-and-white-vision of partners and Ukraine’s foreign policy, under Zelenskyy the frontiers of this approach are fading and becoming blurrier: Zelenskyy has switched from search of allies to search of investors.
  • Ukraine’s relations with the US are now trapped into the impeachment saga.
  • The Asia dimension is also appearing in the Ukraine’s foreign policy, yet we have to be careful in developing it.
  • In terms of Donbas, Zelenskyy did a good job, as he managed to relaunch the Normandy format. However, he has turned his strength into the weakness, when pledged to achieve the peace on Donbas by the end of 2020. He might not be able to do that by the end of his mandate.


The paper will be available in English soon.


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