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February 23, 2016

Event: ‘Ukraine and the EU: The Challenges and Opportunities of a Closer Political Relationship’

Henry Jackson Society

Ukraine and the EU: The Challenges and Opportunities of a Closer Political Relationship

Ukraine Europe Flag

TIME: 14:00 – 15:00, Tuesday 23rd February 2016

VENUE: Committee Room 21, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

SPEAKERS: Serhiy Leshchenko, Viktoria Ptashnyk, Alex Ryabchyn, Ostap Semerak, Alyona Shkrum – Ukrainian Parliamentary Delegation

To attend please RSVP to:

Ukraine and the European Union have started to develop an ever closer political and economic relationship. On 1 January 2016, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) came into force, giving Ukraine partial access to the EU Internal Market, this after Ukraine’s parliament approved a historic agreement with the EU that propelled its country towards the West and away from Russia in September 2014. Now, after seven years of negotiations and domestic turmoil, the Verkhovna Rada ratified the EU’s Association Agreement.

This deepening relationship offers Kyiv great opportunities. Democratic elections have been held, markets have been liberalised, and reform has been made a key priority. But challenges remain. Soviet-era governance structures persist, corruption is endemic, oligarchs maintain control over the commanding heights of the economy, the economy is weak, and Russia still supports separatists in the east.

By kind invitation of Sir Gerald Howarth MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to an event with a delegation of five Ukrainian Members of Parliament: Serhiy Leshchenko; Viktoria Ptashnyk; Alex Ryabchyn; Ostap Semerak; and Alyona Shkrum. As part of a high-level visit to the UK, the delegation will each speak to the theme “Ukraine and the EU: The Challenges and Opportunities of a Closer Political Relationship”.

Please note RSVPs must include your full name and any affiliations including for any guests you wish to bring. We will send a confirmation that will be required to attend the event.


Serhiy Leshchenko is a member of “Bloc Petro Poroshenko” and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. He is chair of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on the Implementation of International Anti-Corruption Legislation. Prior to being elected, he was a well-known investigative journalist who conducted several major independent anti-corruption investigations, and published several books on cronyism and rent-seeking in Ukrainian politics.

Viktoria Ptashnyk is a member of the “Samopomich” (Self-Help) party and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. Prior to being elected, she was a partner in one of Ukraine’s leading law firms. Ms Ptashnyk sits on the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, and her area of expertise is focused on anti-monopoly and competition law reform.

Alex Ryabchyn is a member of the “Batkivchchyna” (Fatherland) party and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. He is co-chair of the Ukraine-United Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Group, and serves as head of the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Energy Efficiency. Mr Ryabchyn holds a Master’s degree from the University of Sussex and earned a PhD in economics from the Donetsk University.

Ostap Semerak is a member of the “People’s Front” party. He is deputy head of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration and is a delegate to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. He is former Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Alyona Shkrum is a Ukrainian politician, lawyer and human rights advocate. She is a member of the “Batkivshchyna” (Fatherland) party and participates in the “Eurooptimists” inter-party group. Ms. Shkrum is head of the Subcommittee on Civil Service and Service in Local Self-Government, and is also co-chair of the Ukraine-France Inter-Parliamentary Group. She was educated at the University of Cambridge and l’Université Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris 1.