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4th German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debate

New Europe Center / Dmytro Babushko
New Europe Center / Dmytro Babushko

What is the current status of the German-Ukrainian security cooperation and what legal options are there for confiscating frozen Russian assets and making them available to Ukraine? These questions were discussed in Kyiv on 25 April 2024.

German-Ukrainian security cooperation: current status and opportunities to strengthen support for Ukraine

German-Ukrainian relations have continuously intensified since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression and Germany also supports Ukraine militarily. In view of the difficult situation on the front and the massive Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, the question arises as to how Germany can support Ukraine more effectively in the future. Against this backdrop, IEP organised the fourth German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debate in Kyiv on 25 April 2024 in cooperation with the New Europe Center (NEC, Kyiv) under the title “German-Ukrainian security cooperation: Current status and opportunities to strengthen support for Ukraine”.

Despite the recently agreed US aid, Europe should not sit back and relax. Russia is now not only attacking the Ukrainian power grid, but also power generation. In order to stop the systematic destruction of power generation and supply structures, Germany will continue to focus on strengthening the air defence - currently with the delivery of a third Patriot missile defence system. This is the only way to prevent rebuilt parts of the power grid from being directly destroyed again. We also need to rethink our own red lines, but the Taurus debate should not overshadow the need for other weapons systems. In addition, Germany and the EU must take more proactive action against Russian disinformation tactics.

The start of the debate on the confiscation of Russian assets and their provision as reparations to Ukraine was adverse. Legal arguments were partly pretextual. There is a lack of political will, partially due to a false risk aversion that does not take into account the dangers of inaction. The task now is to convince sceptics that confiscation is compatible with international law. This will take transparent communication and exploring ways to increase international acceptance, for example by initially focussing on absorbing interest.

The event was opened by the director of NEC, Alyona Getmanchuk. Speakers Martin Jäger, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to Ukraine, and Dr Patrick Heinemann, lawyer and member of the Constitutional Law Committee of the German Federal Bar Association, discussed current developments and key challenges with the guests. The discussion was moderated by Sergiy Solodkyy, first deputy director, NEC.


The German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debates are part of the "UA Transformation Lab" project, which is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. The events in Kyiv are being organised under the patronage of the German Ambassador to Ukraine, Martin Jäger.

Team & authors

About the UA Transformation Lab: Think tanks for Ukraine’s reconstruction and EU integration project: The UA Transformation Lab combines research on reconstruction and EU integration of Ukraine with a capacity-building programme on policy analysis and advocacy. It strengthens bilateral dialogue and knowledge transfer between Germany and Ukraine.

Image copyright: New Europe Center / Dmytro Babushko