Top-10 Ukraine’s Promoters in the World 2014

12:37 PM 30-1-2015

The Institute of World Policy presented the seventh annual ranking of Top-10 Promoters of Ukraine.To certain extent, the rating of 2014, which is traditionally based on survey conducted among Ukrainian and foreign experts, is unique. Eight out of ten names present in this year’s top ten, have appeared there for the first time; (only two have remained in the list since the last rating – Dalia Grybauskaite and Carl Bildt).
The regular winners of our rating – Klitschko brothers, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Victor Pinchuk, and Stefan Fule were not included into this year’s top ten.
Though, the formal evaluation criteria remained unchanged:
● continuous involvement in the Ukraine related issues on the international level;
● promotion of Ukraine from international rostrum: at international conferences, on the pages of the foreign press, etc;
● constant promotion of European integration of Ukraine.
However, due to the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s war against Ukraine at Donbas, another informal criterion has emerged: public assertion of Ukraine’s position on the international arena in the diplomatic, information and intellectual war initiated by Russia. This very criterion has become a deciding one in expert poll held traditionally in the form of assessment on a 1 to 10 point scale. According to the results of voting by 45 experts,the winner is the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, who, perhaps, has been declaring her position in a most clear and loud way.
This year’s rating is unique, as it does not include any representative of Poland, a traditional lobbyist of Ukraine, for the first time. Instead, it introduces several representatives of the United States and, in particular, two senators – John McCain and Robert Menendez. In our opinion, presence of the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in the rating is also clear.
Quite surprising, on the other hand, is the debut of the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper. Symptomatically, the only citizen of Ukraine in the rating is the President Petro Poroshenko. Interestingly, the majority of voices in his favor came from the foreign experts interviewed by the IWP. Also, for the first time, our rating features George Soros and Timothy Snyder who has been setting the pace in the confrontation with Russia on the international intellectual front.
It is important to note that virtually all the winners of this year’s rating are not rewarded for advocating and promoting the interests of Ukraine. That is why we call them promoters of Ukraine, not lobbyists in the English version of the rating. In Ukrainian version, we could logically refer to them as to the “free lobbyists” of Ukraine. Fortunately, the list of international Ukrainophiles consistently advocating Ukraine’s interests and rightful place among the European community is not limited by this list of ten winners; in general, the experts named 93 persons, who should be undoubtedly included into the Ukraine’s “International Hundred.”
It is also important to note that our rating is based on appraising the specific individuals. It is likely that if we allowed voting not only for certain persons, the winner would be the conscious Ukrainian sacrificing his or her well-being, comfort and even life in order to do everything possible to break the world’s perception of Ukraine as “a small Russia” and win the leading part in determining the country’s future for Ukrainian people.

The complete text of the publication in PDFis available here.

1 – Dalia Grybauskaite, the President of Lithuania, 275 points
2 – Carl Bildt, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), a member of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of World Policy, 255 points
3 – John McCain, the U.S. Senator, ex-presidential candidate for the Republican party, 216 points
4 – Timothy Snyder, the Professor of History at Yale University, 165 points
5 – Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, 157 points
6 – Angela Merkel, the Federal Chancellor of Germany, 154 points
7 – George Soros, the founder of the Open Society Foundation, international philanthropist, 150 points
8 – Joe Biden, Vice President of the US, 129 points
9 – Robert Menendez, the US Senator, member of the Democratic Partу, 123 points
10 – Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, 107 points

1 – Dalia Grybauskaite, the President of Lithuania, 275 points
While the Euromaidan has become a symbol of the Ukrainians’ fight for their dignity within their country, Dalia Grybauskaite has become a symbol of advocating their dignity on the international level. There is a huge difference between the global community cutting down Russia to its size and tiny Lithuania doing the same. Thanks to Ms. Grybauskaite, Lithuania showed that the dependence on Russian gas is not a geopolitical sentence; neither are the established trading relations with Russia, despite the fact that according to some estimates, Lithuania shall be considered the most affected per capita by the anti-Russian sanctions among all members of the EU. Dalia Grybauskaite is a symbiosis of a European politician and so-called “strong hand;” a very attractive symbiosis in Ukrainians’ view. Surprisingly, her statements always correspond with what the Ukrainians expect to hear. The EU sanctions? Important, but late and inadequate. Military and technical assistance? Lithuania is ready to provide it. Russian air force flying around the Baltic states? This is a demonstration of stupidity, not power. The meeting with Putin? There is nothing to talk with him about, until Russia changes its policy, as currently they behave like terrorists.

2 – Carl Bildt, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014), a member of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of World Policy, 255 points
It is not the first appearance of Carl Bildt in the Top 10 of Ukraine’s promoters rating; the experts had been appreciating his efforts in supporting Ukraine for a long time. However, he never reached as high as this year’s second place. Eight years of Bildt’s leadership in the Swedish Foreign Office were marked by dramatic increase of Stockholm’s attention to Ukrainian issues. To large extent, the shift in Swedish elite’s priorities towards Ukraine could be explained primarily by Mr.Bildt’s personal influence and his personal concern in supporting official Kyiv. Due to his efforts, Sweden is considered one of the three traditional allies of Ukraine, alongside with Poland and Lithuania. Bildt is a vivid personality, quite frank for a diplomat, what could be explained by his political background. Besides, Bildt is a real star of digital diplomacy; he was the one who sent the first high-level email to the US President Bill Clinton, and later he had become the most popular minister on Twitter. His tweets on Ukraine containing only 140 symbols had broader public resonance than the longest “deeply concerned” statements on behalf of the whole European Union. Although Mr. Bildt had left the government last year, Ukraine will remain in his sight, this time due to the Institute of World Policy; in December 2014 the former minister has become a member of Supervisory Board of our research center

3 – John McCain, the U.S. Senator, ex-presidential candidate for the Republican party, 216 points
The Euromaidan events have become the second wind for the US Senator John McCain’s struggle for freedom and democracy in the region. After Saakashvili’s removal from power in Georgia and Yanukovych’s ascension to power in Ukraine, McCain has noticeably lost his drive and interest in the region. However, McCain’s fatigue and frustration about Kyiv’s policy could be traced in his conversations with the IWP experts much earlier, during the last years of Yushchenko’s presidency, when the conflicts between the President and the Prime Minister have become chronic and devalued all Washington’s hopes for success of the post-Orange “young democracy.” Still, it is clear that during the years of frustration McCain had accumulated energy for his triumphant return to the affairs of the region; the third place in our rating vividly illustrates that fact. Taking into account the indistinct position of the White House Democratic administration, John McCain embodies the role model of the US’s attitude towards Ukraine, unconditional towards any talks with Putin. It does not matter that John McCain’s level of responsibility is much lower than that of Barack Obama. Moreover, it does not matter that the Senator’s certain actions (e.g. his speech on the Euromaidan) might be questionable in terms of the most effective ways of supporting Ukraine, taking into account the fact of demonization of the USA in the context of Ukrainian conflict in many countries all over the world. In addition to visits, statements and lobbying the relevant legislation in the US Congress, McCain is known for quite witty and extremely popular reflections on certain Russia’s decisions. Think, for instance, of his tweet on his regrets about lost opportunity to spend his vacation in Siberia due to his status of persona non grata in Russia, or of his reference to Russia as a gas station masquerading as a country. The personality of John McCain had major impact on development of the stereotype that only the Republicans are capable of defending Ukraine’s interests and punishing Russia.However, the very presence of the Democrat Senator Robert Menendez in our rating demonstrates the inadequacy of that approach.

4- Timothy Snyder, the Professor of History at Yale University, 165 points
The appearance of the Yale University Professor and famous historian Timothy Snyder in the top five of our rating is a pleasant surprise. Only a year ago, Professor Snyder, the author of several works on Ukrainian history, was mainly known within a narrow circle of historians and fans of historical literature. Meanwhile, his books and lectures were the major source of knowledge on Ukraine and Ukrainian history for lots of people in the West. With his outstanding narrator gift, Professor Snyder had helped the Western public to discover the “new Ukraine,” a great country with a long and tragic history. In his view, Ukrainian history is an integral part of European one and Ukrainians are a typical European nation. His latest book, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, mainly devoted to Ukraine, has become a bestseller and has been translated into 12 languages. Many foreign ministers and politicians have referred to this book when reflecting on certain processes in Ukrainian history during their conversations with the IWP experts. The events of 2014 have displayed that Professor Snyder views Ukraine not only as a subject of his academic interests. He was among the first Western intellectuals who started an active campaign in support of Ukraine. Having deep knowledge of Ukraine’s internal affairs, Snyder has published a number of articles in New York Times, following the Russian annexation of Crimea, revealing the Russian propaganda and urging the world to unite in order to protect democratic Ukraine. Later in May, Professor Snyder proceeded to action and initiated a large-scale conference “Ukraine: Thinking Together” in Kyiv attended by more than 30 major intellectuals from Ukraine, Russia, the USA, France, Germany, Poland and other countries. That ambitious summit held amid the threat of a full-scale Russian aggression proved the existence of a strong intellectual coalition ready to support the Ukrainians in their struggle for independence and European future. Professor Snyder remains an established voice of Ukraine in the West and does not let the Western observers forget about Ukrainian people as a powerful agent in this geopolitical confrontation. Moreover, he was the first to make it clear that today’s war is not only for survival of Ukraine, but also for survival of the European Union; and it is quite unfortunate, that it is still not recognized widely in the EU itself.

5 – Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, 157 points
In 2014 Ukraine has been determining the global agenda. Logically, the President has been in the focus of the world’s attention. The presence of the President in the rating, even if his place is near its “equator,” shows that the observers estimate Poroshenko’s efforts highly enough, as Ukrainian politicians had rarely made their way to the previous promoters ratings. It is important, however, to note that the President received the highest scores mainly from the foreign experts. The Western observers seem to be more impressed with Poroshenko’s rational and calm approach, than Ukrainians, who seek resolve and sometimes even radicalism. It is obvious that the President feels quite comfortable in the field of foreign policy; seems that of all the government positions that he had previously held, the chair of the Foreign Minister suited him the most. The informed sources confirm that this is the reason why the President is accumulating all activities related to the foreign policy within his administration, reducing the role of the Foreign Ministry to information support of the President and the informal curator of the “Minsk peace” process. Off the record, the President likes to emphasize his relations with the most influential foreign leaders; for instance, he refers to the German Chancellor in a friendly manner, as to just “Angela.” He willingly basks in the glory receiving attention of global establishment and speaking from the world’s most influential rostrums, as it was during his speech at the US Congress (it should be noted that the Americans are really very selective in allowing the foreigners to speak at their legislative house). Even the Russian leaders display their ironical and theatrical sympathy to Poroshenko in their statements, which is clearly the Kremlin’s deliberate disservice towards the President of Ukraine. The President really has a decent knowledge of the international relations, perhaps the best among all presidents of Ukraine; his English skills allow him to communicate freely with the colleagues from other countries. Fair intuition, ability to adapt to the situation and negotiate seem to have served him well consistently at the times when he earned his first million. However, this ambition to be loved everywhere might play a cruel joke with him, leading to some kind of “Gorbachev effect:”the former President of the USSR is still respected in the West, but despised in his homeland. Therefore, it is important for him not to focus on communication with global leaders at the expense of communication with his fellow citizens, especially in eastern Ukraine.

6 – Angela Merkel, the Federal Chancellor of Germany, 154 points
Angela Merkel is one of the most controversial international personalities in Ukraine. The stereotype of Merkel as a representative of Putin’s interests in Europe has taken its hold not only in Ukraine’s public opinion, but also among the experts and politicians. Subsequently, the latters are still reluctant to admit that after the annexation of Crimea and destabilization of the situation in Donbas, Ukraine has to deal with completely different Merkel. The events around Ukraine became a catalyst for the German Chancellor’s discontent and frustration regarding the Russian government’s internal and external policies. The very fact of Merkel’s inclusion into the top 10 of our rating illustrates the reassessment of her role in the Ukrainian crisis. However, this reassessment has only started, which is the reason why Merkel is only sixth. After all, virtually no other European leader worked that hard in order to bring the EU’s sanctions against Russia into action. Furthermore, virtually no one could do that much to maintain those sanctions after March 2015, when the EU leaders should decide their fate. Moreover, virtually none of our international partners is able to inflict a harder strike against Putin than Germany and Angela Merkel in person. Finally, we should admit that there is no other European leader capable of convincing Ukrainian President and Prime Minister that their unanimity and immediate reforms are vital. Despite all the speculations on Germany’s willingness to deal with Russia behind Ukraine’s back and painfully insulting “Frau von Ribbentrop” reference, improperly widespread six month before by the Ukrainians who focused mainly on the Chancellor’s statements, often detached from the context or mistranslated, Merkel had made it clear that she was not going to bargain with Russia. During her visit to Australia, she admitted that the world should prepare for a protracted conflict. While it sounds pessimistic in terms of rapid and sustainable peace, it is still optimistic in the light of the fact that any geopolitical bargain behind Ukraine’s back in modern Molotov-Ribbentrop style is impossible.

7 – George Soros, the founder of the Open Society Foundation, international philanthropist, 150 points
George Soros has been standing for Ukraine for a long time; still, it is his first appearance in our rating. That could be explained by the fact that our rating has been published for only seven years, while the peak of the famous philanthropist’s activities aimed at supporting our country has occurred in the turbulent 1990s. Without a doubt, Mr. Soros would have been our promoters rating’s perennial leader, if it had existed twenty years before. He started supporting Ukrainian civil society in times when that term was still unknown in Ukraine, in distant 1989, when he had established the International Renaissance Foundation, one of the most active organizations nowadays. In his 84, his energy is envied by his youngest counterparts. During the last year, Mr. Soros visited Ukraine four times. His last voyage has lasted almost a week – the philanthropist has admitted that he had never stayed that long in any country hosting his foundation offices. Only few foreigners believed that Ukraine would remain a sustainable project for a long time in the early 1990s. George Soros not only believed in that, but also did his best for the success of new, European Ukraine. In the mid-1990s he explained his efforts by the statement, which became popular at that time: “I understood the importance of independent and democratic Ukraine. With thriving Ukraine, imperialist Russia is impossible.” Two decades later, this phrase sounds even more urgent. And now Ukraine’s famous friend stresses out that “Russia “defies Europe” with its actions in Ukraine.” His article “Wake up, Europe,” published by the world’s prominent media, claims to be the starting point of a new era in relations between Ukraine and the EU, provided that the EU has enough figures of this rating participants’ level eager to listen to George Soros.

8 – Joe Biden, Vice President of the US, 129 points
During this year, the Vice President of the United States has been serving as a messenger between Washington and Kyiv, actually taking over the key communications with the Ukrainian goverment. This year, Biden has visited Ukraine three times, despite the fact that transatlantic flight is not the most pleasant activity for him. In addition, he had numerous telephone negotiations with Ukrainian leaders. His first visit has occurred in April, when many observers questioned the legitimacy of the post-revolutionary government in the light of the absence of the president, and Biden’s visit could be perceived as both legitimization of new authorities and a preventive warning that the reforms had to be started immediately despite the war. Next time Ukrainians have seen Biden in the government box of the Verkhovna Rada during the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko. Biden’s involvement into the resolution of Ukraine-Russia conflict did not only have a symbolic meaning. His negotiation skills, which have consistently saved the White House in talks with the Congress, and his classic elective politician’s ability to establish contact with the people, have made the Vice President Barack Obama’s “crisis manager”.In Kyiv, the Vice President had to set the records straight in the US-Ukraine relations and dispel certain excessive expectations concerning the US’s aid, especially the military and technical assistance and obtaining the status of the non-NATO ally of the United States.During last year, Ukrainians were more dissatisfied than satisfied with Obama Administration’s position carefully avoiding such terms as “aggression” or “invasion,”and Joe Biden’s delicate approach has played a significant role in smoothing the differences between Kyiv and Washington. 2015 will be extremely important for Joe Biden, who admitted recently that he could not rule out the possibility to compete with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 2016 presidential elections. In that scenario, the competition between the two politicians will definitely reach the international level, and Ukrainian factor might become a decent bonus at certain point.

9 -Robert Menendez, the US Senator, member of the Democratic Partу, 123 points
Senator Menendez is new not only to our list, but also to Ukrainian public discourse.As a Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs,Robert Menendez had to take on Ukrainian issues seriously at the beginning of 2014.In fact, his acquaintance with Ukraine started from a blank sheet, as New Jersey Senator had no previous experience of working with that region.Perhaps,it was this unbiasedness that helped him understand the situation rapidly and accurately. We should also note the significant role of Ukrainian community in New Jersey in this process, as the Senator had numerous meetings with its representatives. Having finally arrived in Kyiv, the Democratic Senator displayed tangibly stronger rhetoric compared to the White House’s statements. Menendez urged to strengthen the sanctions against Russia and to provide Ukraine with armaments; furthermore, he clearly named the Russia’s actions in Ukraine as “invasion.” His refusal to employ the White House’s euphemisms regarding the events in Ukraine has earned him respect in the camp of his political opponents, the Republicans; however, thanks to Menendez, the Democrats have elegantly reclaimed the Republicans’ ace in the hole and deprived them of both monopoly to “punish” Russia and the status of Ukraine’s truly strategic partners. Menendez’s argument is really simple: if Russian aggression remains unpunished, what would deter other states from seizing their neighbors’ territories? Menendez was the author of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act adopted on December 11, 2014 by the US Senate. Although Obama has finally signed the amended edition of the document (in particular, the provision on providing Ukraine with the non-NATO allied status has been removed), the adoption of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act was a real victory of the pro-Ukrainian lobby in the USA. Now the struggle for its implementation begins, and Senator Menendez’s recent statements indicate that he intends to maintain the momentum.

10 – Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, 107 points
Perhaps, Stephen Harper would not support Ukraine that actively, if Canada did not have the world’s largest Ukrainian community. Moreover, that community had slowly, but effectively forced official Ottawa to respect its interests as an important electoral factor. Therefore, for Harper, supporting Ukraine is a matter of not only foreign policy, but also the internal affairs. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Ottawa belongs to the vanguard of the states providing Ukrainians with extensive support. Canada was among the first states to suspend their cooperation with Russia in military field; moreover, Canada has been more decisive in implying sanctions against the Russian establishment for their aggression against Ukraine than the Americans and the Europeans; finally, the extent of Canadian aid for Ukraine is also exemplary. The frankness of Stephen Harper’s communication with the Russian President might be rivaled only by the remarks of the American diplomat Victoria Nuland addressed to the EU; while shaking hands with Putin at G20 summit in Australia, Harper personally asked the Russian President to “get out of Ukraine.” Perhaps,the government of Canada has decided to redeem themselves for insufficient cooperation with Ukraine for the last decade.Obviously, the latter could be explained by the so called “post-Orange syndrome” and Yanukovych’s coming to power.However, many Ukrainians.

Experts list
1. Bonner Brian, Chief editor, Kyiv Post
2. Borzylo Inna, Executive director, NGO “Center UA”
3. Fesenko Volodymyr, Chairman of the Board, Center for Political Studies “Penta”
4. Filipchuk Vasyl, Chairman, International Center for Policy Study
5. Getmanchuk Alyona, Director, Institute of World Policy
6. Gonchar Mychael, Expert, Centre for Global Studies “Strategy XXI”
7. Haszczyńsk Jerzy, Editor-in-Chief, Polish daily “Rzeczpospolita”
8. Hladkova Yulia, International projects Coordinator, Viktor Pinchuk Foundation
9. Humenyuk Natalya, Journalist, Hromadske TV
10. Karasyov Vadym, Director, Institute of Global Strategy
11. Karatnycky Adrian, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council (Washington)
12. Koliushko Ihor, Head of the Board, Centre for Political and Law Reforms
13. Konończuk Wojciech, Head of department, Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) (Warsaw)
14. Kuleba Dmytro, Ambassador at large, MFA of Ukraine
15. Lazarevа Alla, Correspondent, “Ukrainian Week” in Paris
16. Lutsenko Anatoliy, Director, GMT Group
17. Makarychev Andrey, Visiting Professor, University of Tartu
18. Marynovych Myroslav, Vice Headmaster, Ukrainian catholic university
19. Melnyk Oleksiy, Director of the programs on foreign policy and international security, Razumkov Centre
20. Minakov Mykhailo, President, Foundation for Good Politics
21. Miroshnichenko Vasiliy, Partner, CFC Consulting Company
22. Mykhal’nyuk Taras, Director, Open Ukraine Foundatoin
23. Oktysyuk Anatoliy, Analyst, International center for Policy Study
24. Palii Oleksandr, Political expert
25. Pidluska Inna, Deputy Executive Director, International Renaissance Foundation
26. Piekło Jan, Director, PAUCI Foundation (Warsaw)
27. Portnikov Vitaliy, Journalist, Political Analyst
28. Portnow Andrew, Professor, Humboldt-university of Berlin (Berlin)
29. Pushnova Tetyana, Executive Producer, Ukraine Today
30. Reichardt Adam, Editor-in-Chief, New Eastern Europe (Krakow)
31. Savin Kyrylo, Director of the regoenal office in Ukraine Heinrich-Boll Foundation
32. Shandra Alya, Managing Editor, EuroMaidan Press
33. Shlinchak Viktor, Chair of the Board, Institute of World Politics
34. Solodkyy Sergiy, First deputy director, Institute of World Policy
35. Sydorenko Serhiy, Editor, European pavda
36. Szeptycki Andrzej, Associate professor, University of Warsaw (Warsaw)
37. Todorov Ihor, professor, Uzhhorod National University
38. Torop Oksana, Correspondent on international issues, “Interfax-Ukraine”
39. Tryukhan Vadym, Expert on EU integration and international law
40. Weihe Thomas, Head of the Board, Victor Pinchuk Foundation
41. Voznyak Taras, chief edito, Journal «Ї»
42. Yermolenko Volodymyr, Director of EU – related Media Projects, Internews Ukraine
43. Zakharova Olena, Head of the Fpreing Policy Department,International Centre for Policy Studies
44. Zamyatin Viktor, Leading Expert of Political and Legal Programes, Razumkov centre
45. Zhovnirenko Pavlo, Chairman of the Board, Center for Strategic Studies