Questions

UKRAINE REFORM CONFERENCE UA

ABOUT THE UKRAINE REFORM CONFERENCE

On 7-8 July 2021, Lithuania jointly with Ukraine will host the international Ukraine Reform Conference (URC) in Vilnius. It will be the fourth conference of this kind following such forums in London (2017), Copenhagen (2018) and Toronto (2019). 

This years’ Ukraine Reform Conference will bring together Ukraine and its international partners with the aim:

  • to discuss achievements in reform implementation;
  • to consolidate support for reforms that strengthen country's resilience and realize the ambitious and reform oriented "Ukraine 2030 Strategy";
  • to ensure continuation, sustainability, and consistency of the reform process. 

The conference will also provide an opportunity for Ukraine's partners in the international community to reconfirm support for the country's independence and vision of the future, as well as to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

As in the past, the URC will bring together prominent delegates, including political leadership, from the European Union and NATO member states and institutions, other international organisations and partner countries, as well as top-minds of Ukraine's civil society organisations, the business community, think tanks, media and the Ukrainian diaspora.

Against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, the URC meetings will take place in Vilnius in combination with in-person and online participation of the delegates and guests.

 

REFORM AGENDA IN UKRAINE

Following the landmark parliamentary and presidential elections in 2019, the Ukrainian political leadership has set out an ambitious reform package focusing on the modernisation of the country, its international integration, and the Ukrainian people's well-being.

Democratic, secure, pro-market and based on the rule of law European Ukraine is where the aspirations of Ukrainian people, the vision of the country's political leadership and the interests of the democratic international community meet.

The success of Ukraine is a global interest. With this insight, the country has embarked on structurally complex and politically challenging transformational reforms in the governance, economic and social spheres.

Furthering market economy, strengthening the resilience of the society, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, consolidating democracy and the rule of law, as well as combating corruption are in the package of reform-oriented development agenda.

These broader objectives entail specific reforms in such areas as the judiciary, decentralisation, privatisation, the reform of SOEs, land market reform, public administration reform, ensure independence and effective functioning of anti-corruption institutions, criminalisation of illegal enrichments, energy sector reform, security and defence sector reform and others.

These reforms are set out in the "Ukraine 2030 Strategy" and other policy statements of the country. Contributing to shaping the reform agenda and supporting its realisation is part of the international community's response and partnership with Ukraine.

Conference Program UA

7 July

“Strong Ukraine in a Stronger European and Euro-Atlantic Family”
Column Hall, Presidential Palace, Daukanto sq./Universtiteto str. 3, Vilnius

8.15-9.00

Arrival. Welcome coffee

9.15
Family photo
9.30-11.30
Opening Session

Moderator: Margarita Šešelgytė, Director of Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science

Gitanas Nausėda, President, Republic of Lithuania
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President, Ukraine

Statements by the Heads of Delegations

11.30-12.00

Coffee break

12.00-13.30
Panel Session 1. “EU-Ukraine Agenda: Integration as a Driver for Transformation”

(Download document)

Moderator: Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Head of Support Group for Ukraine, European Commission

  • Implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, assessing achievements of its objectives, DCFTA
  • Judicial reform and rule of law
Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ukraine
Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement
Ruslan Stefanchuk, First Deputy Chairman, Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine
Denys Maliuska, Minister of Justice, Ukraine
Tomas Fiala, President of the European Business Association, Ukraine
Olena Pavlenko, Head of the Ukrainian Part of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform
13.30-14.50

Lunch break

15.00-16.30
Panel Session 2. “Security and Defence Sector Reforms”

(Download document)

Moderator: Vaidotas Urbelis, Defence Policy Director, Ministry of National Defence, Lithuania

  • Reforms in security and defence sector
  • NATO integration strategy and progress
  • Cyber security, countering hybrid threats and disinformation
Andrii Taran, Minister of Defence, Ukraine
Polina Lysenko, Head of the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council, Ukraine
George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, United States
James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, NATO
Jill Sinclair, Executive Director, External Engagement and Partnerships, Canadian Defence Academy of the Department of National Defence, Canada
Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine

8 July

“Reform Agenda – Priorities Ahead”
Conference Hall of the Seimas, III building, Gedimino Ave. 53, Vilnius

9.00-9.50

Arrival. Welcome coffee

10.00-12.00
Opening Session “Ukraine’s Reforms Agenda 2030”

Moderator: Lenna Koszarny, CEO, Horizon Capital, Ukrainian World Congress Board Member

Welcome remarks by Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas, Republic of Lithuania

Ingrida Šimonytė, Prime Minister, Republic of Lithuania
Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister, Ukraine

Statements by the Heads of Delegations

Statement of Zaritsa Dinkova, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria for URC 2021

12.00-12.30
Joint photo

Coffee break

12.30-14.00
Panel Session 1. “Business Environment and Investment Climate”

(Download document)

Moderator: Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine

  • Investment climate
  • SOEs, corporatization, corporate governance, and privatization
  • Land reform
  • Energy sector reform
  • European Green Deal
Oleksii Lyubchenko, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Economy, Ukraine
Herman Haluschenko, Minister of Energy, Ukraine
Roman Abramovsky, Minister of Environment, Ukraine
Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank, Ukraine
Arup Banerji, Regional Country Director for Eastern Europe, World Bank
Matteo Patrone, Director for Ukraine, Eastern Europe and Caucasus, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Dmytro Lyvch, Expert of the Reanimation Package of Reforms, Ukraine
14.00-15.00
15.00-16.30
Panel Session 2. “Good Governance – Improving Efficiency and Professionalism”

(Download document)

Moderator: Darius Žeruolis, Adviser to Prime Minister on Strategic planning, public administration, reform and change management, Lithuania

  • Public administration reform
  • Decentralization
  • Digitalization
Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation, Ukraine
Oleh Nemchinov, Minister of Cabinet of Ministers, Ukraine
Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine
Ivar Tallo, Founding Director and a Board Member of e-Governance Academy, Estonia
Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
Maksym Koriavets, National Platform of the Eastern Partnership, Ukraine
16.30-16.45
Closing remarks
Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine
Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Lithuania
Ignazio Cassis, Vice-President of the Swiss Confederation, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, The President of Ukraine


Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected President of Ukraine on April 21, 2019. On 20 May, 2019 sworn in as the 6th President of Ukraine. He graduated from Kyiv National Economic University, with a law degree.
Before becoming the President, he pursued a career as an actor, screenwriter, artistic director and general producer. He was a founder of NGO “The League of laughter”. He was a producer of 10 movies and won more than 30 awards of the National Television Award of Ukraine ""Teletriumph”. President Zelenskyy was a prize-winner of numerous international film festivals and media forums.
From the outset of the hostilities in Donbas, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and “KVARTAL 95” rendered support to the Armed Forces with funds, equipment and perfomed concerts on the front line for different military units.

Denys Shmyhal, The Prime Minister of Ukraine


Denys Shmyhal – Prime Minister of Ukraine, Member of the National Investment Council and the National Security and Defense Council. Candidate of Economic Sciences.
Graduated from Lviv Polytechnic National University. Studied and did internships abroad.
In 2003 defended dissertation on the topic: “Development of production infrastructure of the region in market economy conditions”.
From March 4, 2020 – Prime Minister of Ukraine
From February 4 to March 4, 2020 – Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister of Communities and Territories Development. Initiated reforms of urban planning and coal regions transformation.
On August 1, 2019, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appointed Denys Shmyhal as the Head of the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Administration, where he worked until February 4, 2020.
From 2017 to 2019 held senior positions at “DTEK Zakhidenergo” compamy. In particular, he served as the Director of the Burshtyn TES.
In 2015-2017 he worked as Vice President, CEO, Member of the Supervisory Board of “Lvivholod” company.
From May to December 2014 – Deputy Head of the Lviv Oblast regional office of the Ministry of Revenues and Duties.
From 2009 to 2013 he held various positions in the Lviv Oblast Administration. In particular, he was the Head of the Department of Economics, later – the Head of the Department of Economic development, Investment, Trade and Industry.
In 2011, he also chaired the Board of the NGO Institute for Regional Development, which analyzes regional development issues and decentralization reform in Ukraine.
In 2003-2009 he worked in top-level management positions in companies of Lviv region.

Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine


In the Government Olha Stefanishyna is in charge of Ukraine’s integration to the EU and NATO, as well as coordination of gender equality policy. Upon her appointment, she has initiated an update of the Association Agreement in order to boost trade between the EU and Ukraine and enhancement of transborder cooperation. The second part of DPM Stefanishyna portfolio is to ensure all-government coordination of Ukraine-NATO cooperation and increase the military interoperability between Ukraine and NATO Allies military forces. DPM Stefanishyna has over 13 years of experience in the field of International and European Law. She used to work in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, served as a Director-General in the Government Office for Coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, and used to have a private legal practice. Olha has a Master's Degree in International law and a Diploma in economics, studied at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, and at the Estonian School of Diplomacy.
She is well known in the professional circles as one of the most qualified ""euro-integrators"" of Ukraine.

Denys Maliuska, The Minister of Justice of Ukraine


From 2000 to 2010 Denys Maliuska worked as a lawyer at the law firm Business Law. From 2010 to 2019, he served as a private sector consultant for the World Bank Group. Deputy Chairman of the Board of BRDO/World Bank Group. For a long time he worked as a lawyer in a domain of business regulation, dispute resolution and bankruptcy. Member of the National Investment Council.

Tomas Fiala, The President of European Business Association, Ukraine


Chief Executive Officer and founder of Dragon Capital. Before initiating the creation of Dragon Capital in 2000, he worked at Bayerische Vereinsbank in Prague, while continuing studies at the Prague University of Economics, and at Wood & Co., a leading regional investment bank. Tomas has served as elected President of the European Business Association (EBA) in 2010-2015 and since 2016, leading Ukraine’s top business organization currently comprising over 1,000 companies with more than a million employees. In 2015, Tomas co-founded and became Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Center for Economic Strategy, an independent economic policy think tank. In October 2016, Tomas was elected to the Board of Transparency International Ukraine, part of a leading global anti-corruption watchdog, for a two-year term. He was reelected for another two-year term in 2018. In October 2020, Tomas was elected to the Board of Directors of Kyiv School of Economics.

Olena Pavlenko, The Head of the Ukrainian Part of the EU-UA Civil Society Platform


Olena Pavlenko has worked in the energy sector for over 17 years, dealing with issues of energy security and transparency, oil and gas market liberalisation, EU-Ukraine-Russian energy relations and hydrocarbon development.
Olena Pavlenko is Deputy Head of the EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) MSG (Multi-Stakeholder Group) in Ukraine, the President of DiXi Group. She is also a Board member of Think Tank Liason Office in Brussels, a member of PWYP (Publish What You Pay) Global Council.

Dmytro Kuleba, The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine


From 2003 to 2010 Dmytro Kuleba worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the OSCE. After quitting civil service in 2013, Dmytro Kuleba chaired the Board of the UART Foundation for Cultural Diplomacy. PhD in Law. In 2014 Dmytro Kuleba returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Ambassador-at-Large to launch strategic communications. He introduced the concepts of digital diplomacy, strategic communications, cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy into the Ministry’s work.
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine since March 04, 2020.
Dmytro Kuleba is author of a book "The War for Reality. How to Win in the World of Fakes, Truths and Communities"

Andrii Taran, The Minister of Defence of Ukraine


Andrii Taran graduated from the Kiev Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile Engineering School. Lieutenant General with a military rank. In the Armed Forces of Ukraine he served in command and staff positions.
He served as Defense Attaché at the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America and as a representative of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine at the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations.
Participant in the anti-terrorist operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. He was the head of the General Center for Control and Coordination of Ceasefire and Stabilization of the Line of Demarcation (SCCC).
He took part in the work of the Tripartite Contact Group for the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Polina Lysenko, The Head of the Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine


Polina Lysenko graduated with a master's degree from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
Worked as a junior lawyer in a private law firm (2013-2015), Assistant First Deputy Director of NABU (2015-2019), Head of the Department of International Legal Cooperation and Return of Assets of the Office of the Prosecutor General (2019-2020), Director of the Department of Information Policy and Communications with the public of JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (2020-2021).

Lenna Koszarny, Founding Partner and CEO, Horizon Capital


Lenna Koszarny is Founding Partner, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Investment Committee of EEGF III, EEGF II and EEGF I. Lenna is also Executive Vice-President of Western NIS Enterprise Fund, a $150 million US-government backed fund.
Ms. Koszarny serves for the third year as Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce (ACC) in Ukraine, uniting over 600 companies who have invested over $50 billion to date in Ukraine, serving as a Board member for 5 years. She is a member of the Board of the Ukrainian Startup Fund launched by the Government of Ukraine; a Board member of the Ukrainian Corporate Governance Academy; a Board member and Vice President of the Ukrainian World Congress representing over 20 million Ukrainians worldwide; a Supervisory Board member of the German-Polish-Ukrainian Society in Ukraine; and, served as the first Vice-Chair of the Advisory Council of Kyiv-Mohyla Business School. Ms. Koszarny is also a Member of the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN), bringing together 600+ senior women leaders in private equity with over $3 trillion AUM, and Empowerment Ambassador of the SheExports Platform launched by Ukraine’s Export Promotion Office. She is also a founding member of the Ukraine House Organizing Committee, launching the first-ever Ukraine House, held alongside the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and opening its doors to promote Ukraine for 3 years to date.
On August 24, 2020, the 29th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, Ms. Koszarny was awarded an Order of Merit for Service to Ukraine, third level, by the President of Ukraine, for her contribution to Ukraine’s economy and investment climate. She is also a recipient of a Commemorative Medal issued on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Independence by the President of Ukraine. In July 2020, Ms. Koszarny was recognized as #2 Emerging Europe’s Female Business Leader 2020 by UK-headquartered online publication Emerging-Europe.com, whose independent insight is relied upon by more than two million people.
Originally born in Canada, Ms. Koszarny has lived and worked in Ukraine for over 27 years, is a CPA and received her HBA at the Ivey School of Business in Canada.

Andy Hunder, The President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine


Andy Hunder is President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, representing more than 600 US and international corporate members. A native Londoner, Andy started his career as a TV presenter. He went on to head up the Public Relations department at Ukrainian Mobile Communications (now Vodafone Ukraine) and subsequently was appointed External Affairs and Communications Director at GlaxoSmithKline with responsibility for Ukraine, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. Hunder served as the director of the Ukrainian Institute in London regularly delivering analysis and comment on Ukrainian current affairs on BBC, CNN, SKY, Bloomberg TV, ITV, Al Jazeera, and others. Andy is a member of the Supervisory Board of Ukraine’s Business Ombudsman Council, National Reform Council, National Investment Council, Anti-Corruption Council, and Ukrainian Catholic University.

Oleksii Lyubchenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister of Economy of Ukraine


PhD in economics. O. Lyubchenko worked as an expert on the Macroeconomics program at the Center for Market Reforms in Kyiv. In 2014-2015, Oleksiy Lyubchenko held the position of advisor to the head of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.

Roman Abramovsky, The Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine


In the Government, Roman Abramovsky is responsible for shaping the state environmental policy and the accession of Ukraine to the Green Deal initiative, in terms of climate policy, sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation and the transition to a circular economy.
Under the leadership of Roman Abramovsky, Eurointegration Bills have been drawn up which, inter alia, aim at introducing better waste management practices, reducing industrial pollution, sustainable management of water and forest resources, Development of the territories of major environmental interest. The Minister is also actively promoting initiatives aimed at transforming the Chernobyl exclusion zone into an environmentally sound zone.
In professional circles Roman Abramovsky is known as one of the proponents of the introduction of climate management architecture in Ukraine.

Dmytro Lyvch, Advisor to Prime-Minister of Ukraine (Economic Development), Chairman & CEO at EasyBusiness


Economist with 7 years of professional experience in public policy, strategy development and market research. Dmytro Lyvch is a recognized expert on public policy in Ukraine with 10+ co-authored program documents and analytical reports, 30+ analytical articles and 20+ speeches on TV and radio, focused on improving the business climate and investment attractiveness, deregulation and creation free markets. His professional competencies include strategy development and implementation; public policy consultations on improving the business climate and structural reforms; comprehensive analysis and identification of regulatory barriers to the creation of free markets.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister, the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine


Innovator and visioner. With the Ministry of digital transformation's team, he turns Ukraine into a digital state.
Mykhailo Fedorov initiated the launch of the app and portal Diia, which are currently used by more than 10 million Ukrainians. There are 9 digital documents available in the app for now, including digital driver's licenses and ID-cards. This year Ukraine became the first country in the world, that fully legalized digital passports in smartphones.
Moreover, Mykhailo Fedorov initiated several other successful projects that help the digital transformation of Ukraine. Diia.Digital Education project, Diia.Business, Diia City, eMalyatko, quotas for foreign IT specialists, 360 Tech Ecosystem Overview, coverage of Ukraine with high-speed mobile and fixed internet.
The course of digital transformation is a priority of the Ukrainian government in all spheres.

Oleh Nemchinov, The Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine


At the Government he is responsible for the reform of the public service and coordination of the activities of the Government and central authorities.
Oleh Nemchinov is a Candidate of Sciences in Public Administration and has 3 higher education degrees. He has over 20 years of leading experience in both public administration and the private sector. The Minister has also participated in the anti-terrorist operation in the territory of Donetsk region.
The Minister has worked in different positions from the specialist of the Youth Work Department of the Lviv City Council to the State Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine. In particular, he was the Head of the Civil-Military Administration of the villages of Kominternovo, Vodyane and Zayichenko of the Volnovaha area of Donetsk region, Head of the Department at the Lviv Regional State Administration.
Oleh Nemchinov has worked as an officer at the State Border Service of Ukraine, Associate Professor at the Lviv Regional Institute for Public Administration, Assistant Adviser to the People’s Deputy (MP) of Ukraine and the project manager in the hotel and restaurant business.

Maksym Koriavets, Member of the Steering Committee of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, President of the Polissya Foundation for International and Regional Studies


Member of the Steering Committee of the Ukrainian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (since 2016). Coordinator of the subgroup on harmonization of digital markets within the platform. Permanent expert on the harmonization of digital markets of the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU within the working group. Head of the analytical public organization "Polish Foundation for International and Regional Studies" (since 2017).

Sergiy Tsivkach, Executive Director, UkraineInvest


Ukrainian and UK qualified commercial lawyer with over 20 years of professional experience. He has acted as advisor on economic and regulatory policy, business transactions and operations, international strategic relations for state, international and private organisations.
Previously held positions of advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, First President of Ukraine, Members of Parliament of Ukraine. Has worked as Chair of the Board of C.A.S.E.S. International (organisation that cooperates with Ukrainian state and business institutions, UN, World Bank, OECD, US FTC, etc).
Co-author of legislation aimed at improvement of the investment climate in Ukraine, author and co-author of over 20 expert recommendations to state authorities on reforming of strategic markets, i.e. energy, chemical, retail, healthcare, forestry, and agricultural sector.

Oleksandr Tkachenko, The Minister of culture and information policy of Ukraine


Has a professional background as a journalist, media manager, TV and film producer. Worked as a correspondent for Reuters, was a president of Nova Mova production studio, deputy general producer of the 1+1 TV channel. Together with the “Epilogue”, O.Tkachenko created the Television News Service (TSN) and created the Public Broadcasting Service in Ukraine. For more than 10 years he was the Director General of 1+1 Media. In August 2019 Oleksandr Tkachenko was a People’s Deputy in the Verkhovna Rada of the IX convocation (2019) from the party Servant of the People, Head of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Humanitarian and Information Policy.
Oleksandr has a diploma from Harvard Business School according to the program “Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports”.In 2018, and also he completed a study at INSEAD Business School in Singapore according to the program “Value Creation for Owners and Di-rectors”.

Dmytro Sennychenko, The Chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine


Dmytro Sennychenko has 20 years of leadership experience in systemic international business, NGO and public administration. His career began as an economist at the National Bank of Ukraine, than he worked at the Service of the Prime Minister of Ukraine and as an advisor to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Subcommittee on Banking and Finance. Then Mr. Sennychenko headed the German Technical Assistance Office in Ukraine - Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, where he implemented the sectoral reform projects in
coordination with IFC, CIDA, FDFID, USAID and UNDP. Besides, he led the international investment, development and consulting companies specializing in real estate and infrastructure investment. As Director of Real Estate and Infrastructure Management, he provided corporatization and reform of Ukrposhta PJSC. He is Independent Member of the Supervisory Board of the SE Prozorro.Sale. As well he held positions as Vice President of the Infrastructure and Real Estate Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce (ACC), corporate executive of Ukrainian Real
Estate Club (URE Club), member of the Entrepreneurs Council at the CMU.

Roman Opimakh, The Head of the State Service of Geology and Subsoil of Ukraine

Roman has more than 15 years of experience in cooperation with public authorities and work on strategic planning and efficiency of processes in the oil and gas industry and extractive industries, associated with long-term competitive advantages of its segments (production, transportation, refining, marketing).
From 2016 to 2019 he was the Executive Director of the Association of Gas Production Companies of Ukraine. Over the years, the Association has built a systematic dialogue with the authorities and implemented the world's best regulatory practices in the areas of fiscal policy, subsoil use, permit system and rules of access to subsoil.
Prior to joining the Association, Roman Opimakh was an advisor to the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine on the oil and gas sector, as well as the head of the relevant department at the Coordination Center for Relations with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

binary comment

Gitanas Nausėda, President of Republic of Lithuania


President Gitanas Nausėda was born on 19 May 1964 in Klaipėda. He studied at the Klaipėda 5th Secondary School, attended the Klaipėda Music School and sang in the boys’ choir “Gintarėlis”. In 1987, he graduated as an economist from the Faculty of Industrial Economics at Vilnius University. From 1987 to 1989, he was a post-graduate student at the Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University. From 1987 to 2004, he lectured at the Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University. From 1990 to 1992, he was on a study programme at the University of Mannheim in Germany under the DAAD scholarship. Doctor of Social Sciences since 1993. From 1993 to 1994, he worked for the Lithuanian Competition Council as Head of the Financial Markets Department. In 1994, he held a political science internship at the Bundestag in Bonn. From 1994 to 1996, he worked at the Bank of Lithuania as Deputy Head of the Division for Methodology and Analysis in the Commercial Banks Supervision Department. In 1996-2000, he was Director of the Monetary Policy Department at the Bank of Lithuania. Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania from 1998 to 2000. In 2004, he was adviser to President Valdas Adamkus. From 2000 to 2008, he was adviser to the chairman of AB Vilniaus Bankas. Associate professor at Vilnius University International Business School since 2009. From 2008 to 2018, he was adviser to the chairman of SEB Bank and chief economist.

Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement


Olivér Várhelyi is a Hungarian lawyer and diplomat, and European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement from Hungary in the von der Leyen Commission since 2019. Várhelyi started his career in the Hungarian public administration in 1996 at the Ministry for Industry and Trade. From 1998 to 2001 he was chief of cabinet of the head of the legal unit of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He then moved to Brussels at the Hungarian’s mission to the EU, as legal counselor and then head of legal service until 2006, after Hungary’s EU accession. For two years Várhelyi then served as head of the EU law department at the Hungarian Ministry of Justice. From 2008 to 2001 he briefly served as head of unit at the European Commission, in charge of industrial property rights at the Directorate General Internal Market and Services. He then moved back to the Hungarian foreign service, service from 2011 onward as deputy head and then from 2015 head of the Permanent Representation in Brussels, with the rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary. Várhelyi obtained a Master of European Legal Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark, in 1994, and a Law degree at the University of Szeged, in 1996. In 2005 he passed the bar exam.

Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director General, European Commission


In September 2015, Katarína Mathernová assumed her function as Deputy Director General of DG NEAR, the Directorate General for Neighbourhood & Enlargement Negotiations. She has previously served as Deputy Director General in DG Regional Policy where she was in charge of Cohesion Policy Coordination between 2007-2010. Ms Mathernová has held senior management and advisory posts at the European Commission, the World Bank (2002-2004 and 2010-2014), and in the reform government in Slovakia (1998-2002) where she was Chief Institutional and Policy Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, key architect of the Slovak economy's transformation. Ms Mathernová holds a Juris Doctor degree from Comenius University in Bratislava, a Masters of Law degree from the University of Michigan, is a member of the New York Bar, and speaks six languages. She started her career in private practice of law in the US, with distinguished New York and Washington DC Law Firms. Her distinctions include the award Slovak Woman of the Year in 2000 and the Pro Bono Human Rights award in 1993 from the International Human Rights Law Group. She is a member of several Boards and the author of publications on Slovak and Czech economic and legal affairs.

James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and the Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia


James Appathurai was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary General in December 2010. As DASG, he is responsible for NATO’s political relations with countries across the globe, international organisations, enlargement, and arms control. He provides policy advice on political issues affecting the security of the Alliance. He is responsible for implementing and developing NATO’s relations with all its partner countries and organisations, including through Political Agreements, Partnership Cooperation Programmes, and other bilateral and multilateral arrangements. As the Secretary General’s Special Representative, he is responsible for carrying forward the Alliance’s policy in the two strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Mr. Appathurai previously served as NATO’s Spokesperson from 2004 to 2010. Prior to that he served as Deputy Head and Senior Planning Officer in the Policy Planning and Speechwriting Section of NATO’s Political Affairs Division from 1998 to 2004. He served in the Canadian Defence Department from 1994 to 1998.

Assoc Prof Dr Margarita Šešelgytė, Director of Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science


Assoc Prof Dr Margarita Šešelgytė is a Director of Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science. Before that, she worked as Deputy Director for Studies at VU IIRPS, at Baltic Defence College (Tartu, Estonia) and Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania. In 2007 Margarita Šešelgytė defended her dissertation on the common EU defence identity at the IIRPS.

Matteo Patrone, Managing Director, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus


Matteo Patrone is the Managing Director, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEC) at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) based in Kiev. Matteo has over 25 years’ experience in industry and finance. He joined the EBRD in 2008, in the Corporate Equity team where he was supervising equity transactions with a focus on Western Balkans, Poland, Turkey and the Russian Federation. In 2012 he was appointed Country Director for Serbia and in 2015 Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria. He is the Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Business Ombudsman Institution and a Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine. He also serves in the Board of the Ukrainian Corporate Governance Academy. Prior to working at the EBRD, Matteo was Managing Director at Finint & Partners, the private equity arm of Finanziaria Internazionale, an Italian merchant bank, where he spent 10 years investing in a broad range of sectors. Before that he was Senior Manager at Accenture Strategic Services in Milan, Italy and held various positions in the Finmeccanica and ENI groups in the UK and Italy.

Jill Sinclair, Member of Ukraine Defence Reform Advisory Board


Jill Sinclair has been a member of Canada’s defence, international security and foreign policy community for most of her professional career. As part of the Strategic Joint Staff at the Dept of National Defence, she was appointed by the Chief of Defence Staff and Deputy Minister as Canada’s representative to the Ukraine Defence Reform Advisory Board. She was the Senior Official for Global Affairs Canada for the Toronto Ukraine Reform Conference 2019. Jill worked with Chief Military Personnel and the Canadian Defence Academy as Executive Director Strategic Leadership and Engagement. She served for seven years as Assistant Deputy Minister Policy, DND after an appointment as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet at PCO’s Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat, and acting Advisor to the PM for a period. Ms Sinclair joined government as a Foreign Service Office, with postings in Prague, Havana and the Middle East as Canada’s envoy to the Middle East Peace Process. Jill Sinclair has extensive experience as an international negotiator at the UN, NATO, OSCE as well as regional organizations.

Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD


Mr. Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen took up his duties as Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD in January 2019. Previously Mr Knudsen chaired the Global Strategy Group from 2013 to 2017. Until the end of 2018, Mr. Knudsen was Permanent Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark. Mr. Knudsen was appointed Ambassador in 2006. He served as Ambassador to the OECD and UNESCO in Paris (2008-2009). Prior to this, he was Press Officer and Principal Private Secretary to a number of Danish Ministers for Foreign Affairs. Besides his diplomatic career, which includes postings in London (2003-2004), Washington (1998-2000) and Moscow (1997), he briefly served as Group Director for International Policy in Vodafone, London (2013).

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania


Minister of Foreign Affairs, the 18th Government of the Republic of Lithuania led by the Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė. Chairman of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats since 2015. 2014–2016 worked as a Member of the European Parliament. Member of the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania since 2016. Active member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats). Served at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Belgium and to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and at the Office of the Government. In 2003 Mr Landsbergis received Bachelor’s Degree in History at Vilnius University, 2003-2005 - Master's Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Ivar Tallo, Founding Director and a Board Member of e-Governance Academy, Estonia


Ivar Tallo is the founding director of e-Governance Academy of Estonia. He has been a Member of Parliament of Estonia and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Mr Tallo previously has worked as a Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Estonia. Previously He has been lecturing on public policy and public administration at Tartu University. Mr Tallo is the author of the Basic Principles of Information Policy of Estonia, Code of Conduct for Civil Servants and co-authored Public Information Act. At Council of Europe, he was the rapporteur for the Cybercrime Convention. Ivar Tallo is the Founding Director and a Board Member of e-Governance Academy and currently of Allazo Polis Foundation.

Arup Banerji, World Bank Regional Country Director for Eastern Europe


Dr. Arup Banerji is the World Bank Regional Country Director for Eastern Europe (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine), joining the position in July 2020 and is based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Prior to this position, he was the Regional Country Director for the European Union. Previously, he was the Senior Director and Head of the Social Protection and Labour Global Practice at the World Bank Group and concurrently the Senior Director for the Jobs Group. At the World Bank, he has worked on both country operations and research in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He is the author of a wide range of books and scholarly articles in these fields, including, Working through the Crisis on global and European labour market policy responses during the 2009-2011 crises. He also oversaw the World Bank's 2013 World Development Report (annual flagship research publication), which focused on Jobs.

Osnat Lubrani, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator


Ms. Osnat Lubrani assumed her duties as UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine on 5 July 2018. Prior to leading the United Nations in Ukraine, Ms. Lubrani served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Fiji (2013-2018). Since 2014, she was also designated as UN Humanitarian Coordinator for response to several disasters caused by extreme weather events. Previously, Ms. Lubrani served as the UN Development Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kosovo (2009-2013). Before that, she was seconded to UNDP’s Bureau for Conflict Prevention and Recovery to support UNDP in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Earlier, Ms. Lubrani held several management positions with UNIFEM in New York Headquarters as well as in the field. Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Lubrani was a human rights and development consultant in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), and produced and directed documentary films.

Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine


Matti Maasikas began his career in the Estonian civil service in 1996, as the Head of the Foreign Relations Department in the Chancellery of the Estonia Parliament. In 1999 he was nominated as Head of the PM Mart Laar's Private Office. He then entered the Estonian MFA, first as Ambassador to Finland (2001-2005) and later (2005-2008) as Secretary-General in Tallinn. In 2009 he moved to Brussels where he joined the Cabinet of Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Economic and Monetary Affairs. He was then (2011-2016) the Permanent Representative of Estonia to the EU. 2016-2019 Mr Maasikas served in Tallinn as Deputy Minister for EU Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including during the Estonian Presidency in the EU Council. Mr Maasikas was nominated in August 2019 as EU Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

Kyrylo Shevchenko, Govenor of the National Bank


Kyrylo Shevchenko has been working in the financial sector for 27 years, including more than 10 years in the field of public finance. In 2009-2010 and then again in 2014, he worked as the First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Ukrgasbank JSB. In May 2015, he was elected as Chairman of the Board of Ukrgasbank JSB. From 2012 to 2014, Mr Shevchenko was an advisor to the secretariat of the chair of Oschadbank PJSC.
Before that, he chaired the management board of SKPD PrJSC (2012) and the management board of Ukrainian Strategic Group (2011). In 2009, Kyrylo Shevchenko was an advisor to the prime minister of Ukraine. Between 2006 and 2009, he chaired the State Mortgage Institution. Prior to that, he worked at Aval bank and at Finance and Credit bank, where he became Deputy Chairman of the Board. He started his career in banking in 1994 as an economist at Kharkiv branch of Ukrainian Credit Bank.

Ingrida Šimonytė, Prime Minister of Republic of Lithuania


Ingrida Šimonytė is a Lithuanian politician and economist. Before taking office as the current Prime Minister of Lithuania, Šimonytė was elected twice as Member of Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. In 2009-2012, Šimonytė held a post as Minister of Finance, and was later on appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, and Chairperson of Vilnius University Council.
She began her career as an economist and public servant, working as chief of the tax division within the Ministry of Finance until 2004. She remained within the ministry's tax division until being nominated to serve as finance minister in 2009, tasked with stimulating the Lithuanian economy in the aftermath of the Great Recession. She resigned from the position in 2012, and afterwards was appointed deputy chairperson of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, while also becoming chairperson of Vilnius University Council, a professor of economics at the Vilnius University Institute of International Relations and Political Science, and of public finance at ISM University of Management and Economics.
Šimonytė returned to politics in 2016, when she ran as an independent candidate in the 2016 parliamentary election to represent Antakalnis constituency in Vilnius, ultimately winning a seat in parliament. She was reelected to parliament in the 2020 parliamentary election, where the Homeland Union won a plurality of seats. Following the certification of the election results, Šimonytė was proposed as the prime ministerial candidate by a coalition consisting of the Homeland Union, Liberal Movement, and Freedom Party, and took office on 25 November, followed by the appointment of her cabinet on 7 December.

Vaidotas Urbelis


Vaidotas Urbelis serves as Defence Policy Director at the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania. In this capacity he is responsible for conduct and management of multilateral, regional, and bilateral defence relations with all foreign governments. He develops, coordinates and implements Lithuanian defence cooperation and represents Lithuania at NATO, the European Union and other cooperation formats.
Vaidotas Urbelis started working in the Ministry of National Defence in 1998 as senior specialist of Defence Policy and Planning Department, was responsible for preparation of the first Lithuanian military strategy. During his carrier he held numerous positions at the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence. During the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, he was responsible for the activities of the Presidency Group of the Ministry of National Defence. In 2005 – 2010 he represented Lithuanian missions to NATO and the EU, held positions in the Lithuanian Parliament, from 2017 to 2020 he worked as Defence Adviser at the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington DC.
Vaidotas Urbelis holds PhD in social sciences from the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University. He has taught at Vilnius University and General Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian Military Academy. Vaidotas Urbelis is the author of numerous publications on defence policy, intelligence reform and foreign policy issues.

Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland


Ignazio Cassis studied medicine at the University of Zurich until 1987. He subsequently specialized in internal medicine and public health, and received his master in public health in 1996. Mr. Cassis was awarded a doctorate in medicine from the University of Lausanne in 1998. Between 1988 and 1996 he worked as a doctor. From 1996 he was Cantonal Physician for the Canton of Ticino until he held the office of Vice-President of the Swiss Medical Association (2008-2012).
His political career began in 2004, when he was elected to the municipal legislative body of Collina d'Oro in his home canton of Ticino. Mr. Cassis then became a member of the National Council, the lower house of the Swiss Federal Parliament, a position he held from 4 June 2007 to 30 October 2017. On 20 September 2017, the Federal Assembly consisting of the two Chambers of the Swiss Federal Parliament elected Ignazio Cassis (FDP.The Liberals) to the Federal Council. He took up his post as head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on 1 November 2017. On 9 December 2020, Mr. Cassis was elected by the Federal Assembly as Vice-President of the Swiss Federal Council for 2021.
Since 2001 he has lectured at various universities in Switzerland. He was also a member of numerous foundations and associations.

German Galushchenko, Minister of Energy of Ukraine


German Galushchenko is a manager with extensive experience in public authorities of Ukraine. He is a manager with extensive experience in public authorities of Ukraine. He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and the state energy company "Energoatom", where he hold management positions and took care of the company's long-term development, energy markets, new projects, international and legal areas. Has a degree of PhD in Law. In 2014, German Galuchenko was actively involved in defending the interests of the State of Ukraine and domestic companies in international courts. Worked on bringing the Russian Federation to justice for expropriation of property of large Ukrainian state and private companies in Crimea, as well as on cases, examined by the International Court of Justice for violation of two conventions: on financing of terrorism (Donbass) and racial discrimination (Crimea). He has participated in many international processes, particularly in the field of oil and gas power generation, production-sharing agreements, expropriation of energy assets and so forth. He is a member of the American Association of International Law. Arbitrator from Ukraine of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington. Also acted as arbitrator of the ICC.