Results: Foreign policy. Oleksandr Kraiev

Results: Foreign policy. Oleksandr Kraiev

For the fourth year in a row, Svidomi online media has been holding summary shows at the end of December to reflect on what has changed in Ukraine over the year in various areas: military, culture, education, foreign and domestic policy. 

We discussed foreign policy with Oleksandr Kraiev, Director of the North America program — Ukrainian Prism.


Ukraine's path will be unique because we are the first country to start the EU accession process amid a full-scale war.

Europe needs us as much as we need the EU. Because of Ukraine, the EU has to reform; for example, there are already discussions about the feasibility of the veto right for individual countries. Ukraine has raised the question of the essence of the European values we aspire to.

In the professional community, there is talk of a 2030 deadline. As of now, seven years is the timeframe within which we will make it to economic and legal harmonisation.

The countries of the Balkan Peninsula will join the EU in parallel, and this will neither hinder nor slow down Ukraine's accession to the Union.

Relations with our neighbours

We are lucky that the blockade of the Polish border is happening right now, amidst the elections, when there is a decent part of the Polish political elite that we can work with to resolve the situation. If such a crisis were to come a few years later, it could be a form of ultimatum that would be harder to resolve.

The position of the Slovak population is not pro-Ukrainian. In Slovakia, the last pro-Ukrainian politician, President Zuzana Čaputová, will likely not run for election next year. Robert Fico came up with the slogan " Not a single bullet for Ukraine", but every populist loses to the economy: he has already signed contracts for Ukrainian defence. 

With Hungary, the crisis is highly politicised. This country uses Ukraine to blackmail its interests in the EU. The advantage for Ukraine is that the European Commission is on our side. Negotiations between Zelenskyy and Orbán are necessary because we need to understand where populism ends, and Hungary's real demands begin.


The Ukrainian embassy has been in contact with almost all campaign headquarters in the United States, except for Donald Trump's and Vivek Ramaswamy's. Our agencies are working to ensure that the principle of 'Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine' works. The only way Ukraine can choose to engage with the US is through consistent professional work and strategic partnership.

Trumpists are in the minority, but they control the agenda and politicise any topics that have been the subject of political discussion to the maximum extent possible.


Ukraine did not expect an invitation to join the Alliance at the Vilnius summit. In 2024, the NATO summit will be held in Washington, D.C., to mark the 75th anniversary of the Alliance. Next year, with such an invitation, NATO can 'show its teeth' and shatter the Russian myth of even more significant escalation. Russia has done nothing since the European Union began negotiations with Ukraine.

At the same time, in Vilnius, Ukraine received assurances (not guarantees) of security from the G7 countries. This document is flexible and does not apply to all states or all security aspects, but it can be an initial step before broader security guarantees are developed.

Middle East

Ukraine's political leadership has argued that Hamas' aggression against Israel is part of an aggression against democratic values. Currently, our support for Israel is quiet, as Ukraine expects other Middle Eastern states to take a more firm stance and does not want to risk the diplomatic achievements that have already been made.

Global South

The fact that Ukraine has secured the grain corridor is a powerful signal that we not only talk but also act. We already have a specific brand in the region, and people are ready to communicate with us. Spanish-speaking Latin America is now partially accepting of Ukraine: even the country's opposition press welcomed Zelenskyy's visit to Argentina.

In Africa, Ukraine has intensified its presence but has yet to manage to overcome the colonial narrative that Ukraine is a puppet of the West. Unlike Latin America, Africa is more unstable. Russian PMCs, not just Wagner, have a significant influence there. In Africa, people ask why the suffering of Ukrainians is more important and visible than their own.

Forecast for 2024

It will be a challenging year. There will be more than 70 elections around the world. The Ukrainian issue will be everywhere, but not everywhere in the light we want it to be.