This policy study focuses on the bilateral relations between Germany and Ukraine from the outset of Volodymyr Zelenskyy's presidency to the outbreak of full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine all the way to the present moment, seven months later. Based on more than a dozen interviews with decision-makers and experts, a review of previous research, and media reporting, the study finds that the relations are actually better than their public perception. For a variety of reasons, the public discourse of the relations is very much focused on the pereived shortcomings of Germany's support for Ukraine, at times ignoring the substantial military, economic, financial, and humanitarian support that Germany provides.
Nevertheless, the frustration that Ukraine feels with Germany but also with its other Western partners was tangible, caused by the slow decision-making process regarding the provision of heavier weapons in the early phase of the war. Germany's hesitancy in complying with the most recent Ukrainian request for main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles is likely to put bilateral tensions in the spotlight again.
The paper identifies six areas of enhanced cooperation between the two countries during the ongoing war and in the medium term in the post-war reconstruction period.
About the Publisher
Kyiv Dialogue is a non-partisan and independent platform for deepening and consolidating the dialogue between Ukraine and Germany. Kyiv Dialogue connects opinion leaders from politicsa, media, and civil society in both countries.
Kyiv Dialogue started as bilateral conference format in 2005. Since 2014, Kyiv Dialogue supports civil Society initiatives in the Ukrainian regions to strengthen local democratic structures. Today, Kyiv Dialogue focuses on the social integration of internally displaced persons, and the reconstruction process in Ukraine.
The opinions expressed in the policy paper are solely the author's and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Kyiv Dialogue. Its affilates, or its donors.
Supported with funds from the Foreign Office.
Table of contents
2. German-Ukrainian Relations Before the Full-Scale Russian Invasion
3. Relations Since the Russian Invasion
4. How to Strengthen German-Ukrainian Relations?