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Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 11:00 - 12:00

"Developments in Ukraine - a fight for the future of Eurasia?"
Ihor Kharchenko
Ambassador of Ukraine to Japan
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English.

 Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Kharchenko will visit the FCCJ to provide an update on his war-torn country, where more than 4,000 people have died since Russia annexed the strategically important Crimean peninsula.

 Separatist forces are currently fighting Ukrainian government troops in the east of the country, while efforts to secure a cease-fire have come to nothing. Russia is reported to be supporting the rebels as Moscow seeks to consolidate its hold on its newly acquired territory. Russia, however, denies having any forces in Ukraine, as does the NATO alliance.

 The clashes are remarkable in that it is the first time since the Second World War that the region has seen the deployment of military forces. The Ukraine won independence in the early 1990s without a single fatality.

 Japan has been caught between its commitments to Western institutions and its reluctance to upset Russia, which is an important energy partner. In addition, Tokyo wants the planned state visit by President Putin in 2015 to proceed smoothly. Sanctions against the breakaway portions of the Ukraine are gradually being tightened, although the Japanese appear to be more reluctant to target Russia directly.

 Ukraine has become a crucial barometer for the future of the region. Will Russia revert to type as the local imperialist power, or will the EU and the US be able to guarantee peace and prosperity - something they historically have never been able to achieve? Can Ukraine possibly buck hundreds of years of blood-stained history and achieve genuine independence?

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee



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