Assisting Ukraine in line with Germany’s strategic interests - participants in Kyiv Dialogue conference

Assisting Ukraine in line with Germany’s strategic interests - participants in Kyiv Dialogue conference

If Germans are currently helping Ukrainians to repel Russian aggression for altruistic reasons, then later they will see that a free and peaceful Ukraine within the EU also corresponds to their pragmatic interests.

This opinion was expressed by the member of the Bundestag, the head of the German-Ukrainian parliamentary group, Robin Wagener, who spoke during a discussion within the Kyiv Dialogue initiative, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

"We support Ukraine because most people understand who the aggressor is in this war and who was attacked, who are the victims of terrible war crimes... For altruistic reasons, Germany stands firmly on the side of Ukraine. But there is still not enough understanding that Ukraine's victory is in our own security interest," the parliamentarian said.

Read also: Ukraine's partners lack political will to give country everything for victory – German MP

Over time, Germany will realize such a "rational interest" – that Ukraine's membership in the European Union will provide great opportunities for German business, in particular in the field of clean energy, noted the politician representing the Greens. At the same time, he warned that there is no "fast track" on Ukraine’s way to the EU accession. Rapid acquisition of membership, even if it happened, would be bad both for the EU and for Ukraine, he believes.

Therefore, "war fatigue" or “Ukraine fatigue”, according to Wagener, "is not an alternative" if one assesses things rationally. "It is necessary to understand that there is no alternative to a strong Ukraine," he emphasized.

Read also: Pistorius: Ukraine must win war, determine parameters of victory

In turn, the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tobias Lindner, emphasized the importance of not losing sight of the future amid the war. "There is no clear dividing line between war and reconstruction. Reconstruction will not take place after the victory, it is already happening," the diplomat said. He recalled that a reconstruction conference will be held in Berlin next year.

Lindner paid tribute to Ukraine, which despite the ongoing war is implementing reforms, and noted the role of civil society to this end, which should continue to demand decisive reforms and transparency from their government.

"Ukraine can rely on us. Now we are talking about arms supplies. But it’s also the issue of rapprochement with the EU," stated the State Secretary of the German Foreign Ministry.

"We can rely on Germany," emphasized Oleksiy Makeiev, Ukraine's Ambassador to Germany. He agreed that the civil society, which sometimes gives the authorities a "cold shower", will play a leading role in the reconstruction of the country.

"It is the unique synergy of the Ukrainian state and civil society that is leading us to Victory, bringing us closer to membership in the EU and NATO," the diplomat said.

Makeiev noted that Ukraine and Germany are moving along a common path to a common victory. Currently, this is about the supply of weapons, but Germany will also play a leading role in the issue of reconstruction, the ambassador, who was a participant in the inaugural Kyiv Dialogue discussion in 2005, is convinced.

Rainer Perau, managing director at the German-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, confirmed that German business is interested.

"I have never been approached by so many businessmen interested in reconstruction as recently. They see new prospects in Ukraine, great potential for cooperation. We are currently forming a Recovery Team, which will include specialists from various fields," he informed. At the same time, Perau noted that in order for serious investments to come in, the rule of law is required, which is also a prerequisite on the way to the EU.

The two-day conference was held on September 28-29 in the Berlin office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation with the participation of German and Ukrainian politicians, diplomats, experts, and civil society leaders.

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