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Ukrainian Studies Program

ARGUMENT: Ukraine is Romania biggest neighbor. Yet, few Romanians really know what is going on in the next-door country on a day-to-day basis and almost no Romanians speak Ukrainian. Sadly, there is currently no Ukrainian Studies Program in Romanian academia or non-governmental sector which is indicative of the wider state of affairs of area studies in Romania. Apart from American and European Studies, there is no institutional effort underway anywhere in Romania to research and form specialists in area studies (including specialists on modern day Ukraine). For historical reasons, Romania’s entire foreign policy in the region has been primarily focused on Moldova. Meanwhile, the relationship with Ukraine has been dominated for decades by sensitive issues (like the rights of the Romanian minority in Ukraine) or marked by bitter topics such Bystroe Canal or the Krivoi Rog steel factory. However, since the Revolution of Dignity (2014), bilateral relations have improved. Ukraine chose to move towards the West and ditch its soviet past for good. Romania supports Ukraine’s pro-Western orientation and is even the lead-nation for the NATO-Ukraine Trust Fund on Cyber defense. We at ROEC believe it is important to build further on this positive momentum and not allow the future to be the hostage of the past. Which is why we have decided to launch a Ukrainian Studies Program within ROEC.

PROJECT: the program will conduct interdisciplinary research on contemporary aspects pertaining to modern day Ukraine. It will research topics such as energy, economics, foreign policy, ongoing reform, domestic politics and public policies, and recent history. The aim is to generate a new body of knowledge in Romania about Ukraine, to cultivate the interest of a new generation of Romanians towards what is happening in Ukraine today and to overcome old mentalities. This starts by building expertise, by developing academic curiosity, by doing rigorous research & analysis and engaging in extensive fieldwork. Everything that ROEC shall do from now on about Ukraine (event, analysis, initiatives) will fall under the umbrella of this program.     

AIM: to close the gap in perceptions, to tackle preconceived ideas, to dismantle stereotypes, to increase awareness and knowledge in Romania about Ukraine by doing what we do best – research and analysis. We hope to connect minds, people, and ideas, to write about topics that are less known in Romania and, in the process, bring our two countries closer together.


  • Analysis – briefs, policy and academic papers, research papers, special reports, comments, op-eds;
  • Events with a Ukraine focus – round-table, conferences, lectures;
  • Summer school;
  • Study trips.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: If you would like to support a future event or the Ukrainian Studies program, please contact Razvan Alexe, VP Development and Corporate Relations at razvan.alexe[at]

ROEC Ukrainian Studies Events and Publications

Ukrainian – Russian gas relation: outcome of the Stockholm arbitrage case

Romania Energy Center (ROEC) together with the Ukrainian Embassy in Bucharest and the Bucharest University of Economic Studies are organizing a special event dedicated to the Ukrainian – Russian gas relation: outcome of the Stockholm arbitrage case and what’s next? The expert panel discussion will focus on the results of the Stockholm arbitration case between Naftogaz and Gazprom – one of the biggest commercial arbitration in history by total value of claims and counterclaims, and discuss the latest regional developments in natural gas, especially how the commercial resolution of relations between Gazprom and Naftogaz is likely to influence and re-design the future regional gas flows.

Energy sector reform in Ukraine (2014-2016)

EUGENIA GUSILOV   |   RESEARCH PAPER  |   06/15/2016   |   13 PAGES

The paper tracks the unfolding domestic reform in Ukraine. Despite Crimea’s annexation and the war in the East, Ukraine made genuine progress in implementing much delayed economic reform, but starting slow-walking through the process in 2016 drawing the ire of its foreign partners and domestic civil society. The analysis maps the stakeholders involved in this accelerated modernization process, assesses the relation with the International Financial Institutions, the EU, the USA and Energy Community, and makes an inventory of achievements and failures of this steep reform process.

Black Sea – In Access Denial Age


Anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) bubbles are emerging around the world, including in the Black Sea. They can alter the security equation and weaken the Western deterrence capital. How will the NATO alliance choose to respond to these new emerging trends in its near abroad? What is the appropriate military and non-military response to hybrid warfare? A hybrid warfare calls for a hybrid defense, and hybrid defense requires also non-military means: a whole-of-government approach, a mix of soft and hard power tools, civilian and military cultures, state-centric and private (NGOs and media) instruments, in order to minimize opportunities already in-place that a foreign power can exploit to its advantage. 

Ukraine’s reality: upstream access denial

by Eugenia Gusilov, December 17, 2015

The second most profound effect of Crimea’s annexation (after violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity) was a brutal blow to Ukrainian ambitions for energy independence. In 2013, things looked promising for Ukraine: it joined the Energy Community, it updated its Energy Strategy up to 2030, it committed to implement the EU energy acquis (3rd Energy Package), it was looking forward to develop shale gas deposits in the Eastern and Western part of the country and deep offshore fields in the Black Sea (neither of which have been explored before).