On 31 January 2023, a panel discussion entitled “Rebuilding Ukraine: Investments and the Rule of Law” was held at the German Embassy in Washington DC. The event was organized by the Ukrainian and German Embassies, with the support of the Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA), and brought together leading experts from Ukraine, Germany, and the US. The event gathered more than 130 attendees, including distinguished representatives from diplomatic, legal and business communities, academia and civil society. The Program of the event is available via this link.

Mykola Stetsenko, a UBA Board Member and Managing Partner at AVELLUM, participated in the panel discussion, joined by Paul Massaro, Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Counter-Corruption and Sanctions, Ulrich Wessels, President of the German Federal Bar (BRAK), and Gonzalo Zeballos, Chair-Elect of the International Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). The panel was moderated by Irina Paliashvili, President of the Ukrainian Legal Group, Chair of the Legal Committee at US-Ukraine Business Council, and a UBA member.

The main focus of the discussion was the legal and reforms agenda for the successful post-war economic recovery in Ukraine. The event aimed to explore which rule-of-law elements are crucial for attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and domestic investments in Ukraine, which areas need improvement, and how the transatlantic business and legal communities can support the process.

Mykola Stetsenko addressed common misconceptions about the challenges faced by foreign businesses in Ukraine, emphasizing that many of these myths are part of anti-Ukrainian propaganda, often sponsored by Russia. He outlined the steps still required by both the Ukrainian Government and Western governments for successful post-war rebuilding and transformation of Ukraine, and highlighted the efforts already made by the Ukrainian government, such as the creation of the Economic Recovery and Transformation Fund, the formation of the State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development, and the appointment of a Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor. Mykola’s remarks are available via this link.

The event was co-organized by the German Embassy as Germany has a unique experience in rapid economic recovery after World War II, and the key elements of Germany’s success were European integration and continuous financial and institutional aid from the U.S. and European partners. Ukraine has already embarked on a similar journey, and it is important to understand that it will quickly accelerate after the country’s victory in the war.

A Background Paper on Rebuilding Ukraine, prepared by Irina Paliashvili, is available via this link.