Statement by the International Renaissance Foundation

We do not share the views expressed by Victor Pinchuk in his article ‘Ukraine Must Make Painful Compromises for Peace With Russia’, published in the Wall Street Journal on December 29, 2016

Statement by the International Renaissance Foundation

The International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) respects all public efforts to find ways to resolve the armed conflict caused by the aggression by the Russian Federation. IRF provides support to NGOs, independent experts, volunteers, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose work aims at restoring peace, stability and protection of the fundamental human rights in the conflict zone in the East of Ukraine. IRF will contribute, in every effective way, to the cause of de-occupation of the territory of independent Ukraine.

However, we do not share the views expressed by Victor Pinchuk in his article ‘Ukraine Must Make Painful Compromises for Peace With Russia’, published in the Wall Street Journal on December 29, 2016 (  

Victor Pinchuk is the founder of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, a charity that IRF has partnered with in several projects, including the support for participation of leading Ukrainian experts in annual conferences of the Yalta European Strategy and participation of new politicians of the parliament’s inter-faction Euro-Optimists group in ‘Ukrainian Breakfasts’ during the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Based on the broad public resonance caused by some points made by Mr. Victor Pinchuk in the above article, the International Renaissance Foundation sees the need to make the following statement:  

1. We do not share the view that in order to achieve peace Ukraine should give up its strategic course of the European and Euro-Atlantic integration, or take the strategic goals – supported by the majority of the society and fixed in the Ukrainian legislation – off its agenda. 

2. Despite the crisis experienced by the European Union, as an integration project, and the lack of clarity about the ultimate format of Ukraine’s integration in Europe, the European norms and values serve as the essential reference point without which it is hard to expect that the vital transformations in Ukraine will succeed. Abandoning the vector of integration into the EU and NATO will not solve a single problem in relations with Russia (NB: Ukraine was officially ‘non-block’ at the moment of annexation of the Crimea). Instead it will completely demoralize the Ukrainian society and undermine the international trust in Ukraine as a country that has no clear vision of its own development and is guided by conjuncture and fears in determining its historic way.

3. We do not think that taking the Crimea issue out of the matter and re-integrating the occupied Donbas on Russia’s conditions (which would exactly be the result of the proposed ‘pseudo-elections’) would make Ukraine a viable state. On the contrary, by accepting such conditions Ukraine would inevitably go the way of Bosnia and Herzegovina and would become a country of only nominal territorial integrity. Its further fragmentation would only be a matter of time. Abandoning the struggle for the Crimea would mean not only betraying Crimean Ukrainians but also betraying the entire people, the Crimean Tatars, who suffer from injustice under the occupation. 

4. While not sharing the views presented in the above article, we, nevertheless, continue performing our obligations as a partner in the collaborative projects with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Specifically, in January 2017 we provide support for the participation of a group of Ukrainian politicians, government officials, independent experts and intellectuals in the ‘Ukrainian Breakfast’ during the World Economic Forum in Davos. We hope that the participants we support will be able to use the proposed international platform to bring their views to global and European leaders that will gather in Davos.

5. The International Renaissance Foundation reserves the right to determine plans for further cooperation with the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, as well as with other partners of the IRF, on conditions of respect for shared values and program priorities.

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