tv European Ambassadors Discuss E.U. Support for Ukraine CSPAN February 27, 2023 11:25pm-12:23am EST
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to the united states, including ukraine's top diplomat, reinforce their support for ukraine and a discussion hosted by the atlantic council in washington dc. they discuss the one-year anniversary of the war and its impact on europe as a whole. >> good morning to everyone in the united states. good afternoon. in europe, hello to you all around the world. thank you two are in person audience at our atlanta council headquarters in washington dc. i'm fred kempe. my special privilege this morning to welcome you to the atlantic council special event. as long as it takes, the european union's support for ukraine. this is a few days after putin's criminal and unprovoked war of ukraine. our speakers will be ambassador stavros lambrinidis, ambassador
of the european union to the u.s., ambassador oksana markarova ambassador of ukraine to the united states. representing the swedish eu presidency, ingrid ask. that the moderator is ryan hea th of politico. i want to draw the attention to people who are not in this amazing in person audience, to the virtual audience. we have ambassadors in the room from luxembourg, spain, the czech republic, the slovak republic, denmark, the european union. from ukraine, as i mentioned, romania, lithuania, bogue area, croatia -- bold area, croatia. we have representatives from every european union country. so, it's a show of support on this anniversary. it's been one year since russia
provoked its invasion of ukraine, a dark chapter in ukraine's national story and europe's history. by launching this major offensive last year, vladimir putin declared his imperial ambitions to strip ukraine of its sovereignty, democracy and right to existence. for putin, ukraine was supposed to be another step in his policy against europe and transatlantic security. we we have seen lives lost and millions displaced. we've witnessed the uncovering of countless atrocities committed against the people of ukraine, atrocities that vice president kamala harris recently labeled, crimes against humanity at the munich secured a conference. putin has failed. one year on ukraine's stands at the epicenter of our fight for values and backed by the unrelenting support of north america, europe, and its partners around the globe. victory for ukraine's victory for us all.
the ukraine story is one of resistance and hope. resistance from the imperial ambitions of a foreign leader who denies people and a nation's existence. and hope for ukraine, the peace that controls it's own future. we should not forget in the revolution of dignity, of 2014, almost one decade ago, ukrainians waved flags of the european union in kyiv's independence court. they waved flags of the eu. they sacrificed themselves for the flag represents, democracy, freedom and the respect for human rights. we are here to bear witness for ukraine's fight for freedom and to discuss europe's support for the fight. the president of the european commission has doubled down on the eu support ukraine, promising to be by ukraine's side as long as it takes. alongside u.s. leadership the european union and its member states have supported ukraine in
the struggle, and mobilized over 70 billion euros in humanitarian aid and 12 billion euros in military support. with unity and swiftness, the few anticipated, the eu rounded a sanctions against the russian state. finally, ukraine is a candidate for membership in the european union. this is squarely in a path towards western integration. there is still plenty of work to be done. in a weekend newsletter i wrote about president biden's historic trip to kyiv. some have compared it to president kennedy's moment. some have compared it to president reagan's, tear down the wall moment. i said in some respects, it undersold the moment, and in some respects it oversold it. president biden took real risks.
president kennedy and president reagan did not have to take that in their trips in berlin. it oversold it, the reason that though speeches are famous is that berlin remained free. the wall did come down. now, we have to deliver on the content that president biden -- intent that president biden delivered in kyiv and warsaw. since the beginning of the invasion the atlantic council is remained firm in its commitment to the people of ukraine. the war has brought us back to our core mission, we were established over years to promote. we are stronger together and the transatlantic partnership must remain front and center. we've mobilized across our 16 program centers. our eurasia center leads our work in ukraine. our europe center shapes discussions on how europe is changing across the board. our global energy center focuses on the energy dimension and europe's energy decoupling from russia. the geoeconomics center leads
work on sanctions. the strategy for -- the center for strategy and security lead support for ukraine in the military elements. our geographic center covers the world. as we mark the solemn anniversary, we keep ukrainians stories fun in mind. that backdrop, it is my honor to welcome the ambassador of ukraine oksana markarova, the ambassador of the european union stavros lambrinidis. and the deputy chief mission, ms. ingrid ask. for your conversation on europe support for ukraine. it will be moderated by lyrical's -- politico's editor ryan heath. ambassadors, thank you for being here. ryan, over to you. ryan: let's dive right into it. i'm going to turn to you. what is the view of the state of
the war nine years into russia's attempted occupation in ukraine and where do we need to focus on weapons and aid delivery? >> as we pass years of the regional attack of the federation. on the one hand it is difficult, it is a very long timeline. you feel that there and everywhere in ukraine with either the drones, missiles or whatever russia can find, even after the sanctions are working and preventing them from building quicker, something new. so, it is still very difficult. they need all the help, security assistance, budget assistance. we have been able to retake more
than 50% of the territories that russia initially occupied. we did not allow them to take kyiv in three days. we almost survived the horrible winter when they had destroyed more than 60% of the energy infrastructure in ukraine. we did not win yet. so, we cannot rest today and say, great. it's already an achievement that ukraine is here and standing strong. it is a remarkable achievement of the brave people of ukraine. here in the u.s. and europe, who were able to stay with us. we have to double down. we have to do more. we have to finish this war, as soon as possible. not only because it will save lives. it is existential for us. but also, if we want to stay together, close and move to recover together, as europeans,
americans, we have to ended faster. ryan: the follow-up, what is your fear if we don't defeat pu now in this war ukraine, what do you fear -- putting down this war in ukraine what you fear? >> it is not what we fear, is what we know. putin is a threat. the russian federation is a threat to so many of us, to everyone who believes in the values of democracy and freedom. but also to anyone who simply thinks that their sovereignty is sacred. i don't think any of us will want to leave -- live in the world in which a large autocratic country can attack a neighbor and get away with it. i would not even put it in terms of what are we afraid of? in ukraine, we say we cross the bridge, we are not afraid. we have to fight. we we have to win. all of us should be concerned.
if if we will not win it fast. it's the right thing to do. it's the most and efficient -- effective and efficient thing to do. it will be more expensive and difficult if we go beyond ukraine. the russian federation will go beyond ukraine if they are not stopped in ukraine. also, this war has taken a toll on ukraine. we're paying the ultimate price. it's taken a toll on europe, the united states, everyone. the faster we can win this war, the faster we can move to the stage of recovery. ryan: ambassador, can you put in a little bit of context for people who do not follow what the eu is doing in the war effort and the eu's member government. we see large weapons deliveries from the u.s., from the eu. in a different form of frontline, in terms of energy impact, refugees, being neighbors to ukraine. give us a bit of context of
where the eu effort is now and how difficult it has been to mobilize that. >> the eu effort is massive when it comes to military aid, economic aid. when it comes to humanitarian aid. and refugee aid. in many ways that is complementary to what the u.s. is doing. in other ways, it's on. the same track. . i think the main reason i want to give is that it will be impossible for america alone to provide what ukraine is needed up to now, to be able to fight and push back. it will have been impossible for europe to do it without the u.s. this alliance. also another -- a number of other countries i want to emphasize. your right to say, when you impose sanctions as massive as the ones we have on russia, which have an effect in europe.
trade and investment relationships, cannot defy gravity. there, we need 27 prime ministers and presidents to be unanimous in proving them. it's not a matter of a president signing a paper. the last attempts package that took place, another 11 billion in addition to everything else is of critical importance. it's not easy because there are many more things in this puzzle. most importantly, it is supporting ukraine and ukrainians. we have to deal with a world crisis that was created by this attack. whether it is the food insecurity or the energy crisis. those crises in the eyes of the countries of africa, latin america, asia, what determines their approach to the war. as for us, it is clear what is happening here. an autocrat with a nuclear
weapon cannot when, if it does, that ensures the american european democracies is diminished for decades to come. this is essential. for other countries it is other stuff. i will tell you, we have been setting up lanes in the eu for food to come out of the ukraine, when the ports were being bombed -- bombed and blocked. another 22 billion has gone to the ukrainian economy. in addition to the $73 billion. when we talked other parts of the world, i say, look, this is not a war of the west against ukraine. it's the war of the west and the east of the north and the south. to support ukraine, and the u.n. charter. -- if there is one colonialist part -- power in the 21st century it is russia.
many of us committed colonialism in the past. we learned from that terrible mistake. putin not only has not learned from it, but he is using it. he's using the same tools, the same philosophy to wipe a country he does not like off the map to control it. that is an acceptable. the world has to -- that is unacceptable. we have to be effective in getting the measures across. ryan: how close are you all to winning that case, that this is an existential threat to everyone? i ask because there are lots of layers in these alliances. not everyone in africa has seen an existential threat to them. you have the lithuanian foreign minister saying that unless there is a complete ukrainian victory, the unit -- the cannot have lasting peace in europe.
you have potential allies saying this is peripheral or wanting something pragmatic is a solution. and then you have the lithuanian foreign minister, which is saying this is existential, that it cannot be compromised. >> i am very glad to be here with the ambassadors. i'm glad that the focus today is on europe. ukraine belongs to europe. we are looking ahead to the path. for sweden, this is the backdrop. it permeates everything we do. i totally agree with the ambassadors. this is existential for not only ukraine, but also for europe as a whole and for our european identity. what kind of union we want to be, how we see our future, how we are handling it.
our role, is to contribute to that unity among member states. i think it has been extraordinary, the unity we have shown, imposing sanctions. we probably surprised president putin. we might've surprised even our american colleagues. in such conference of ways. but, i also want to bring up, this is about our own identity. this is an important task to mitigate the global repercussions of this when it comes to food security and energy. ryan: you have to have two parallels, two arguments? >> true. ryan: how does that feel in ukraine? you're closer than ever to the eu, but still a long way from membership. can you talk about the tension? great success over the past year, but it is not everything that you wanted or needed to
have this complete victory. >> well, we ukrainians are patient. we're coming back to europe after 400 years of occupation. the ties between ukraine and europe has always been solid. but, we do not have these statehood. since 1991 the integration path, whether it was avoided by the people -- opposed by the people or not, it was the only strategic path ukraine ever had. there were fluctuations with the pro-russian government which wanted to go back to russia. ukrainian people decisively said no, every time it happened. since 2014, since the revolution of dignity, when people literally died with the european flag, it has been a task. we are doing a remarkable job. not only defending the job -- country fighting on the front line but implementing all the reforms. we don't talk enough about that.
the fact that we are continuing all the reforms. the fact that the recent eu has recognized the progress in all the areas, from difficult, judicial, to economic reform. in addition to defending the country from the actual full-fledged war, it's showing how dedicated ukrainians are to the european path. just a touch up on your previous question, how effective are we in getting the message outside? we are europe. we feel ourselves, european already. thanks to all the ambassadors. we have so many of the audience with us here. this is very important for us. like the ambassador said, it is our war for independence. which we are having for a long time. the recent, 141 votes, have
shown that regardless of a very strong russian propaganda, regardless of strong efforts from russia to undermine the majority of people get it. we just need to work more. we need to inform them better. we need to also clearly show that russia has nothing to offer them. they are trying to get military equipment from north korea and iran. not to mention the food, the energy. there's nothing they can offer with regards to the development -- economic develop its of the country. ryan: let's bring up a practical case study on this point, turkey. turkey did think they were getting something from russia they are blocking nato. what are your thoughts to get more out of turkey? they have helped with the grain deal for example. but they are not where we want them to be with nato allies. can you elaborate a bit more on where we go next with turkey? >> we are in constant discussion
with turkey. it's a nato member, a very important one. it has mediated, for the grain, the u.n. deal. that was an important mediation. it's also in the crossroads of sanctions and the capacity we have that they did not get abated. sanctions are classic example. they are bringing back russia's economy by generation. putin is dipping in his reserves right now to make sure that the ruble remains a stable. and he can have a narrative back in his country that everything is ok. it's not ok.
it would have been even worse. it will be even worse, if we were able to shut all of those sanctions around the world. this is something we talk to turkey about. it's a constant effort, ryan, to ensure that the fundamental message, which is if someone can so blatantly use force to take over somebody else, if their goal is to undermine the peace architecture we are building up in past 70 years, if that person wins, the world blows up. i don't know where it goes. but i do know that i cannot allow a bully to make me capitulate.
i also have to use all my weapons from sanctions, to support in layaway way that has the maximum effect. -- in a way that has the maximum effect. including a weapon that can get to the point, you say you have to get, i agree with you. ryan: briefly on turkey. it's a sore point for food and. what -- sore point for sweden. what else can sweden do to loosen turkey up? to get nato membership? do you have the practical benefits of nato already? we just move forward with the intent and figure out the fiscal details later on. >> i would like to start with the latter part of your question. we're convinced that we will contribute to the security of the alliance. you know what the math looks like.
it's clear when you look at it. the missing pieces and northern europe. we have the capabilities. we have the locations. it's very important. and also the industry base that makes us a natural part of the alliance. we both contribute. there's no question about that from our side. we will become numbers. we have a process with turkey. you're well aware of it. we have been addressing concerns that turkey has in all different aspects of it. we fully recognize these concerns about how to handle the terrorist threat in europe, turkey, sweden come elsewhere, and also when it comes to farm sales and how it treats turkey and other countries as partners to the european union because they are an important part not only to the alliance of the european union, but also within
nato. we have done that. we have delivered on all the points in the memorandum. with finland, turkey, sweden. we'll see what it brings us. we're hopeful. we trust that we will become members. we were talking about the change, the security architecture in europe. you cannot overestimate the fundamental consequences of russia's behavior on that security architecture. in our own case it is, military alignment. in a matter of months, we appraise our own security and architecture and decide to join a nato. with very solid support of both within the swedish population and the parliament. that is a testament of what this means for us. ryan: ambassador, have you got
any input on the turkey question? >> i will give you the input on the nato. i think ukraine was very skilled, under difficult circumstances. battle tested, very capable army, with the reforms we are doing. with our devotion to democracy and willingness to fight, we would make an excellent member of the nato alliance. [applause] ryan: we have a lot of support for that from the audience. >> the turkey question, i was the first to answer it. ryan: on the nato membership? >> i want to talk about the e.u. membership. i will say that the presidents visited kyiv. they have been there a number of times during the war. what they recognized is the remarkable efforts and progress
that ukraine has achieved in the extremely difficult process of changing the whole country to meet european standards in the middle of a war. now, if you needed any proof of the extremely high level of government efforts in ukraine, the people who are engaged in this, you have it right there. my hope is that this continuing, it's going to be an effective and faster process then you have seen in other cases. ryan: the eu institution, i know them and love them dearly from my time working with them. >> you say this with a smile on your face. ryan: the institutions, it is not hard to win an argument amongst people that live and breathe these problems every day. the institutions are ahead of the public or have more
political space to maneuver than the national government does. my question is, how do we keep that gap as narrow as possible on this path towards ukrainian e.u. membership so we do not end up in a situation, which has happened before, or people feel like they have done the right things, get close to being accepted, and some of the countries are not members today. how can we keep the gap narrow, so that brussels is not out ahead of european public? and you get what you want at the end of the day, e.u. membership? >> we have to have constant proof of the concept. the concept is ukraine is coming closer and closer to the eu, before even the full membership provides direct benefits to the ukrainian people and to the eu. if you look at what we're doing with the energy grid and how we have connected it, so ukraine does not have to rely anymore on russia to get its energy, but can rely on europe to be able to bring energy in.
that is a concrete example of what is happening and will be happening in different fields of activity in the next years. our commitment to support ukraine, to make all the changes it needs to is ironclad, including the funding that goes into it, the expertise required. we're working arm in arm in this. it's a process. it's a merit-based process, not an automatic thing. if you would ask me, are the institutions here ahead of the public opinion? not even close. the public opinion recognizes that ukraine is part of europe. that ukrainians, the mere bravery is inspiring. it would be a point of pride to be able to welcome ukraine in european family for me. ryan: the stockholm feel the same? your job is to keep them together for this six month window? >> i cannot agree more.
it's clear that this is a commitment of both the eu and the ukrainians, the european path forward for ukraine. also in addition to what the ambassador said, this is important, a signal, to the ukrainian people that you belong. we are ready to engage with you on a long-term basis, to work with you on the different steps, to reform, to work with you. also, to point out here, this is an undertaking of the european union to work with ukraine. also, to boost morale for the battlefield. this does not stop. this continues. >> this is not anti-russia. it's pro ukraine. even when russia gets out, the pro ukraine element will continue. >> i just want to comment.
the former minister of finance involved in the european integration issue for many years, we already found a new reason between ukraine and the european union. even institutions. they're not as fast as the public opinions. there much faster than what it was before. in order to make it more faster, as surprising as it may sound, we have to get more weapons. to win on the battlefield, to have more air defense, longer-range, to be able to finish the war, to win this war faster, is a very important, thing we have to do. then we can focus on the energy on this. it's very difficult, even for european institutions to do everything they need to do to certify our reforms, if they cannot get to so many places in ukraine at the moment. we have to keep the focus on that. ryan: to follow up on that, it's
around the fact that we've had 10 sanction packages, circulate of debates of which weapons to deliver and when, there are complications. you have to train people to use the equipment. how do we get around the fact that when things are done in a piecemeal way, there is a higher financial cost and a higher cost in blood, that is point number one, i would love your reaction to. point number two, in america, there are many americans watching, is there anything american organizations, governments, donors can do to support ukraine, to speed up its eu accession? is that a contribution you would like to ask of american interest? >> what can you do? the answer is all of the above. from the beginning. i think it's important to stay
focused on more weapons, more sanctions. we will be there when russia will stop its war. it's only up to russia. they can do it tomorrow. they can stop the war. they can get out from everywhere in ukraine. that is how the world will stop. we can focus on justice and reconstruction, and everything president zelenskyy put in his formula plan, which has been supported by so many countries. in order to do this, we have to stay focused. if there's anything i want to ask from our friends here, from the american people who supported us, please continue the support. take time and right dear congressman -- write to your congressman, senator, say that you want this. you want to feel safer and you want the support to continue. again, you sent it. more and faster for weapons and sanctions. it would be more efficient.
it would be less expensive, at the end of the day. it's also better for russia, because the faster they will stop this aggressive war. the faster they will be able to focus on themselves, which they should. their country is going into the stone ages, extremely fast. ryan: it is almost to bring in audience questions. very soon. this is not necessarily a fair question. my last question before we go to the audience is around, what do you see for russia? what does the west want for russia? russia has decided that for themselves but there are risks. what are the risks of being more extreme than prudent? -- putin? have you got any views on where russia needs to land or how you want to see russia operate after this war?
for all of us, this is a tremendous disappointment. this country could have taken another path, and it did not. we have four hundred swedish companies that are no longer there. there was potential. and with russia right now, it is hard to see when we will have a path back toward such development. it is extremely sad. but of course, one important aspect for the eu is to do what we can also address the repression taking place among civil society and other voices in russia, in belarus, countries very close to our border or on our border, where they have an
extremely negative development right now. that is one of the most challenging tasks we have right now to contribute to something else, but it is hard to see that happening right now. >> russia did not change during the past they hundred to 400 years -- 300 to 400 years. this is what they did. we just tried not to notice it, but i think it is very clear now that it is not only put an, but the russian people who support this war. it is not up to us. we have to stand with the values in which we do it, and unless they not only stop the war but also acknowledge what they have done not only to ukraine, what they have done to georgia, to people on the streets in the
u.k., what they have done to the people on the mh 17 flight, it goes on and on. unless there is justice served, regardless of how much time it will take, we cannot continue business with usual with russia even after this war is won and over. i think we have to stand against putin together on what we want to do, our plans on how to develop and have a safer -- of russia wants to be part of this, they will have to work hard to get there. >> marie, she is a fellow here at the atlantic council, and we have a question. >> thank you for having me.
there are further consequences of the war and the thinking of many western countries is that europe waits for leadership when it prepares on her own. in the coming month, what steps do you believe could make a difference in making europe more of a leader where the vicinity is also at stake? >> it is a very good question, and i think everyone acknowledges that it was the intelligence that we got from the united states back in the end of 21 that allowed us to be so prepared as europeans as well to address the invasion of ukraine. when it came to sanctions, at the beginning of the sanctions, what i was getting was the opposite reaction. how come they europeans are working so fast and so much more effectively and massively on the sanctions package?
i always told people this is not a competition. we are working hand in hand. in some instances, europe can move faster, in other instances the u.s. does, but working together makes the difference. i can tell you we have already begun unfolding our economic package of aid for 2023. $3 billion have already gone to ukraine this year. for us, this is an important thing. during discussions, i get people trying to distinguish between financial and economic aid to ukraine and military aid. the fact is that financial aid is as important for the wind on the battlefield as military aid is. there is no way you can have a country crumbling back in kyiv, schools closed, pensions not being paid, energy
infrastructure being destroyed, and expecting someone fighting on the front lines with their family left back will have the moral fortitude to do so. economic aid when putin is trying to kill the economy and the structure of ukraine in addition to its people on the battlefield is as critical. so we in europe are in front of that. of course, there is the issue of refugees. that is something that i have to say as a european, i am deeply proud of how those in europe opened immediately to 11 million people initially. now over 4 million are asking for temporary protection, so they get schools for their children and jobs and housing. this is a huge undertaking in a matter of two or three months. had we not done something as europeans, putin would have managed to kill the spirit of
the ukrainians much faster than he ever would have hoped, and he has failed in that too. those people are back in europe, and those children go to european schools today, but what they say is that, thank you very much for this, to the europeans. we love you for this, but we did not ask to leave our little town in ukraine with our teachers, our friends, to go to a place that has opened their arms for us, but we do not speak the language. putin forced us to do this. we didn't ask to. that is a crime. and when speaking of children, today he has taken all of these children from ukraine and taken them to russia to reeducate them. that is a crime. at some point, americans and europeans have to stop talking politics all the time and understand the strength of our democracies is not the strength of our militaries and economies,
but also our civil values, and it is not under any circumstances to be looking at this and saying, can i balance this out? how is this going to go? we need to stand with these valleys, and that is what europeans have done from day one, and i am proud of that. [applause] >> thank you, ambassador. we have ambassador john herbst who has another question coming. >> i would like to congratulate all of our speakers on terrific discussions. [applause] i am going to make life a little harder for the europeans. >> john, you always do this. [laughter] >> we have seen what i would call a satisfactory response from the united states and eu to put an's aggression in ukraine,
and satisfactory is not bad because it actually takes great effort. but we have also seen community in the principal european capitals. paris and berlin reinforcing sentiment to the united states. here is my question. the stronger eu response we have seen has been driven from countries on the periphery, especially poland and countries all over the eu. and when ukraine wins this war, with all of this western support today, what we see a partial transfer of leadership within europe from the west little bit to the east, including poland, but also with the two
prospective members of nato who have shown a great amount of steel in response to this crisis? thank you. >> who would like to go first? >> [indiscernible] john, i proudly accept the premise and i partly do not. indeed the european union member states from the beginning of the war approached the way that we should support and the speed which we should support ukraine from different analyses that also came out from their own histories, their own understandings, and all of that. but it took us may a nanosecond to unite immediately behind a fundamental principle that we are going to give military, economic, and refugee aid to ukraine, all of us.
and we will do it massively and quickly. as you said, it is effective and efficient. it is more of that, but you could always hope and inspire for more -- aspire for more. i see this as a case in which the european union has once again come even closer together. the premise of your question was that maybe this is an inflection point to bring us apart. i just do not see this. i have to tell you, you look at the crises in the past years in the eu, and i have had to deal with a different capacity every time. each one of them, the questions i would get, is this the moment the eu collapses? is this the moment you split apart? during the financial crisis, there were different views in europe from different member states on ways to approach it. we have come out stronger as europeans.
you look at the migration crisis , and again for different reasons, different member states and groups had different approaches. again, we came out united and stronger. you look at covid and brexit before that, but if you want to look at that, you look at public opinion after brexit and virtually in every country, people supported the european union more than before. so is this the moment the eu will fall apart? the past has shown. during covid, it took us a few months to get a joint response. in the case of ukraine, it took us a few days to get a package of sanctions. i am not concerned, and what we are demonstrating is the comparative advantages of different member states in the way that they can handle different crises. that for me as the eu ambassador
is great because the strength of the eu is multiplying the strength of member states. it is our decision to give away part of our sovereignty in a common undertaking where we all not just respect but take advantage of each other's strength. so i am super hopeful. and you say it is my job to be, but it is not. we look at recent history and i think it will be another inflection point of how strong the european union is. >> i would love the swedish opinion here, because sweden is a great country, you are the head of the eu, you have made big strategic decisions that it can only be stronger together on some of these questions. the more realistic view, how much of this integration is going to keep happening? >> i will give an optimistic answer also because it is an interesting question.
you can see it as the glass half empty, half full. i would tend to see the contrary because what this crisis has shown is the eu is not just three or four big countries, and the representatives of the medium-sized european country. it has shown it is not three or four, it is really 27 countries. some of them have very strong voices. we have very strong public opinion on this and with very different aspects, and different histories of our own, but it has shown the beauty, the diversity and the fact we are 27 countries. it is a big union, all of us very active on this. also where we started off, this has made the eu think about its own identity and in important ways because we have had to
think about where we want to be in terms of the energy system, how our independence is. it is limited also with an existential question on the climate question. democracy, where do we want to be and where do we want to go? we have had to make deep reflections on our own, which has been important, and i would like to say it is something we have not touched upon very much, but it is important for the european union, the question of accountability. we are working within the eu but also with the icc and the human rights council and so forth. this will be an extremely important part of healing and being able to continue to bring those responsible to justice and to handle the accountability matter. that'll be important. >> this is a great zone to get into for the last five minutes of discussion.
accountability in terms of the crimes, but i also think in the long term, and infrastructure is another long-term question. a lot of the infrastructure of the country is shattered and it will take hundreds of billions to rebuild that. i would love to hear thoughts on how we move forward on accountability and where we are on the reconstruction of infrastructure, and what needs to be happening now, not in five years' time, on infrastructure. >> on responsibility, we have excellent confirmation between the u.s., the european union, and ukraine on the criminal cases we prosecute in ukraine. we already have more than 60,000 were crimes or related to war cases, and we have already opened up our own criminal investigations and shared the evidence. in all the courts that are available to us for international law, the european
court of human rights, and these elements are tribunal. the crime of progression. we also have to have that element if we want to even talk about the full and comprehensive accountability. this is what we are discussing with the u.s. and our european partners. this is where we have to find a way to do it in the most efficient ways in order to have this tribunal set up and is in order to not only have the accountability, but right now send a clear message that regardless of when we win this war, the accountability is going to be there. on the reconstruction, it is clear that it is a step the ukraine wants to take, and it is a step shared by the u.s. and the european union for construction in addition to energy. it is based on the governing principles, where we would like to discuss it and decide on it
together. the main priority there is to build something -- not to rebuild what we used to have, but build something more innovative. we moved into ukraine 2.01, and even now the digital transformation of ukraine is very deep. the energy transformation we are going through now is deeply already ahead of some of the countries that are existing. that would help us to survive. during this difficult year that we were able to -- our financial institutions have all of their information on the cloud. that regardless of where the battles were taken, people still have access to their bank accounts, which is surprising. for the energy grid that on the one hand, we are thankful to the european countries that they were able to get us through the
process which usually takes years in a couple of weeks when it was needed, but we were able to preserve the infrastructure for a long time until russia started to destroy it everywhere. we can go on and on, but we have to -- the reasons we started the platform now is we have to do the fast recovery now in order to be able to sustain life, to let people stay and come back, which is very important. people are coming back, as you heard, but also start thinking about the future massive reconstruction, which has to be done first and for moist -- foremost using the russian money. they have to pay for what they have destroyed, so either reparations or their assets seized, or whatever, because it always leads back to responsibility. the second is the massive involvement of the european
union and u.s. private businesses in that effort because again, this is something we ukrainians like more than we like to fight. we have shown that we can fight, but we are very peaceful. >> that point is incredibly important for private business because we think of institutions and massive loan packages, but they are small-scale. >> i will jump in on this point. after russia invaded, close to one million of the youngest, brightest, tech savvy russians left the country, and they are not coming back. in ukraine, they are there. they are honing their skills in the tech and not just supporting the energy grids, but also in the social media, in everything they do. ukraine has the capitals in
spades. so when the war is won, i am convinced the piece will be won as well for everything that you said, but also because craniums themselves are on the ground -- ukrainians themselves are on the ground and they will grab peace by the horns. >> that is the perfect note to end on. thank you. [applause] obviously, i want to thank you, the virtual and in person audience. many of you were rallying on sundays in support of ukraine. i want to mark on those moments and work together as a community, so i hope this was a great time to meet and talk about the issue. you for your participation, thank you to the eu representation for helping the atlantic council organize this event. continue your support and
solidarity for ukraine. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> c-span has unfiltered coverage of the u.s. response to russian invasion of ukraine, bringing you the latest from the president and other white house officials, the pentagon, and the state department. he also have international perspectives from the united nations statements from foreign leaders on the c-span network, the c-span now free mobile app, and c-span.org/ukraine, our web resource page where you can watch recent bdo's live and on-demand -- videos live and on-demand.
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