Since the Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary elections of 2010 and 2012, concern has grown—both within Ukraine and in the West—about political and economic developments in the country. Many believe that Ukraine is coming to a crossroads in terms of its democratic values and geopolitical orientation. The opposition in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) believes that the country is currently on the wrong course. It has laid out an alternate agenda for the nation built upon free and fair elections, greater transparency, a comprehensive anti-corruption effort, economic investment and job creation, membership in the European Union and building international partnerships.
On June 24, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader of the Batkivshchyna (“Fatherland”) parliamentary faction in the Ukrainian parliament. Mr. Yatseniuk addressed the political and economic opportunities facing Ukraine, as well as how the country can best make use of those opportunities. Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer introduced Mr. Yatseniuk and moderated their discussion.