Norbert Lammert on current developments in Ukraine
We at the Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung, like many others, are following the events in Ukraine with dismay and outrage, and our thoughts are with the people on site during these difficult hours. Russia's aggression is not only an attack on Ukraine, but also an attack on our European and international order; last but not least, it calls into question our work in Russia and the entire region. War is now raging again in Europe – for too long, too many leaders in politics and society have suppressed the experiences of the 20th century with authoritarian systems, wanting to replace reality with wishful thinking.
The Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung has had a foreign office in Kiev since 1994; in 2017 we opened an additional office in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv. We deliberately wanted to accompany the developments in a region that is crucial for the whole of Europe, thus sending a signal that we would continue to support Ukraine in its reform process and upholding its territorial integrity.
Our colleagues Dr. Brigitta Triebel, Tim Peters and Bruno Hamm-Pütt, who manage our offices in Ukraine, were taken back to Germany timely. We also care about our local staff by taking supportive measures. In addition, we constantly evaluate how current developments affect our offices and our work in other relevant countries. The foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of the current events in Ukraine for the European and international order pose a particular challenge for the work of political foundations in the region.
It is evident that other countries are watching closely the way we in Europe, and together with our transatlantic partners, are responding to Russian aggression. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with democracies worldwide and find answers together. I combine this with the hope that many people – including and especially younger people – will again work harder for democracy, the rule of law and peaceful coexistence.