From the very first days of the war, Poland has played an important role in bringing aid to Ukraine. While many countries took significant time to recover from the shock of the invasion, Poles immediately began taking in all those in need and organising a plethora of support.
Today, in the 19th month of the war, we are still seeing the many faces and consequences of the war. Millions of people have left their homes, lost loved ones or been wounded. Many of them have had to start their lives anew, in a foreign land, and are increasingly understanding the meaning of their grandmothers’ and grandfathers’ repeated mantra of ‘never again war’.
But, despite these traumatic experiences, life goes on. Ukrainian soldiers are bravely fighting – and slowly prevailing – against the aggressor, countries are acting together to support Ukraine’s efforts, international aid continues to flow, and businesses, fully aware of their role in building economic strength, are growing and getting stronger. We all hope to overcome evil.
And everyone seems to know that the only right way forward is through strengthening our sense of community. But this is not always the case, with short-sighted, result-oriented action seriously threatening its sustainability.
In times of war, how can we prevent relations between our countries and people from deteriorating in the face of economic and political disputes in the background? Should internal political processes have an impact on foreign policy? How can we build and strengthen Polish-Ukrainian relations?
More specifically, what are the possible ways out of the Ukrainian grain crisis? How can we help wisely, respecting our partner’s interests and logic, without damaging our own? And finally, where to look and how to effectively build win-win business relationships in this situation?
An endangered present
It’s clear that only strong and consistent economic support will give Ukraine the means to continue the war and undertake future reconstruction.
However, the amount of arms received in kind is declining and European depots are emptying. In turn, financial aid cannot be used in its entirety for buying weapons, so Ukraine needs to earn money to maintain its defence capabilities.
It has done this via the export of agricultural products and receiving payment in foreign currency, which helps to stabilise the balance of payments. Taxed profits increase the budget and give it a chance to survive.
Moreover, the commodities it produces are desperately needed today.
Much of the world is starving, while others are unable to establish their trade routes.
It would seem that in such a situation, with skilful management and a partnership approach, Poland and Ukraine could implement joint scenarios, reap the benefits and, so to speak, strengthen ties and business relations. But the opposite is happening.
Have we lost our instincts, our intuition? Do we really not know what we can do? It’s easy to imagine what would happen if Poland and Ukraine were to fall out during the war with Russia. And we all know very well who would benefit from such a situation.
The current state of Polish-Ukrainian relations
Although we have often been uneasy neighbours and our history has many difficult, bitter or even tragic moments, these have faded into the background in the face of Russia’s furious attack. And relations between Poles and Ukrainians have entered a new era.
The shared experience of the first days and months of the war and the bonds forged at that time will remain forever.
Poles rushed to help. They were warm and compassionate, helping in any way they could, organising independently and spontaneously all forms of support and forcing institutions, organisations and companies to become active and involved.
This is why Ukrainians, despite their traumatic and tragic experiences and their immense homesickness, have been ready to build their lives here.
But they need to feel safe, to have solid ground under their feet and to know that they are at home and among friends.
This is why we are together, to create a community whose permanence we will defend. A community built on shared experiences and shared plans for the future.
Topics for discussion
- What is the real status of the war and the Ukrainian war economy?
- What could happen if international aid to Ukraine starts to decrease?
- How not to argue when omnipresent politics starts to play a major role?
- Modelling: how to get out of the current situation?
- Current and future challenges related to the war in Ukraine
- How and when will the reconstruction of Ukraine take place?
- Wasyl Zwarycz, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to Poland
- Dariusz Szymczycha, Vice-President of the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce
- dr hab. Kamil Zajączkowski, Director of the European Centre at the University of Warsaw
- Olena Ovchynnikova, Lawyer, Ukrainian Desk, Kochański & Partners
- Wojciech Wrochna, Partner, Kochański & Partners
- dr hab. Markiyan Malskyy, Head of Ukrainian Desk, Partner, Kochański & Partners
Piotr Kochański, Managing Partner Kochański & Partners
10:00-10:10 Welcome and introduction
10:10-12:00 Panel discussion
12:30-14:00 Lunch & Networking
The event is held under the patronage of
Who should attend
The event is aimed at all those interested in maintaining the best and closest relations between Poland and Ukraine, businessmen and companies interested in doing business in Ukraine.
Find out how we help Ukrainian companies and get to know our Ukrainian Desk.
Participation in the event is free of charge, following registration and application acceptance. The organiser reserves the right to refuse applications and to cancel the event.
The event may be attended either in person or online.
Onsite venue: Kochański & Partners headquarters: pl. Piłsudskiego 1, Warsaw. The number of participants is limited – first come, first served.
A link to the online broadcast will be sent to participants the day before the event.