Read the original article at eurointegration.com
2017 year might become a difficult time for Ukrainian diplomacy. Attempts to establish reliable contacts with Donald Trump administration, attempts of restoring confidence in relations with the European Union, the next accusations of inefficiency regarding the Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and MFA in general - all this is inevitable.
However, there are a number of focus areas that look not only promising but also able to bring victory without betrayal, which many Ukrainian want and which our country needs. And additional foreign ministry funding in amount of a billion hryvnia should become extremely efficient for that purposes.
So, let's talk about priorities.
Change the paradigm of Ukraine’s positioning in the world
It’s time to get serious regarding our own positioning in the world. Indeed, the position of international community is rather favorable for Ukraine, but many of its members have their own interests and reasons.
You should not rely on a lot of people who wants to challenge Russia. It is better to make efforts to change the positioning of Ukraine, conducting active transformation that will enable not to talk about the “biggest European problem", but about the "space of opportunities" - economic, transit, energy - by the way, the largest in Europe.
We should stimulate interest to Ukraine with creative activities, not with hyperbolising foreign broadcasting as a tool of providing information about our country.
Combine diplomatic efforts and realities of state development
It is time to abandon the geopolitical beggary because the reviving of the Armed Forces significantly strengthened the defense of Ukraine.
In general, diplomatic efforts must be combined with the realities of the country, including, above all, internal transformation.
The world is entering a period not only of emotional manifestation at the highest level, but also of pragmatic approaches to the capacity of different countries.
This is not a vanity fair but competitive environment, where you should deliberately declare yourself.
Conduct an audit of strategic partners
Today, Ukraine has more than two dozen countries of strategic partnership (the exact figure is difficult to tell). On this long ago stated Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko.
Among them there are Russia, although in reality our bilateral diplomatic relations are frozen by hybrid warfare, Turkmenistan, with which we are linked exclusively because of gas interests, Georgia and Belarus, where more than a year Ukraine don’t have its ambassadors.
Obviously, it is advisable to clearly define the parameters of the strategic partnership an audit partners and focus on the development of relations with them, without wasting efforts.
Publish a strategy of Crimea and Donbas return
We have been waiting very long time for this document, but did not receive it. And it is a bad signal because there is a noticeable drop in the interest of the world community and influential international players to events in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, replacing them with other dramatic stories of international relations.
Making public the return strategy of our territories is necessary not only to show the world our determination to fight for Donbas and Crimea, but also to encourage the citizens of Ukraine who live in ORDLO and Crimea, remind them that Homeland remembers them.
Be prepared for changes of Normandy format
Diplomacy - it is always the people who protect the interests of the relevant states, so I think the changes to Normandy format will occur soon.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier goes to the presidency of Germany and it is unlikely that his successor will be more respected diplomat, at least until the autumn of 2017. In spring Francois Hollande leaves his post, in autumn Angela Merkel may lose her position of Chancellor.
It is also worth paying attention to Russia's attempt to establish the fake trilateral format of talks in Minsk with participation of Nadiya Savchenko and terrorist leaders. Thus, Normandy format and the Minsk agreements do not cause delight in many Ukrainian politicians, but this time the alternative should be adequate and not forced.
Consider the desacralization of diplomacy
The world is becoming more dynamic, now there is significantly less number of recognized authorities. Diplomatic activity becomes actively commented, and after significant events there is invasion of "experts" in social networks.
The desacralization of diplomacy and its approach to the daily agenda of public life, envisages the accelerating of response to information challenges, and explanatory activities not only with other states, but also with our own fellow citizens.
For example, Ukraine’s vote in the UN Security Council in favor of resolution condemning Israel for building settlements on Palestinian lands, and the further development of the situation in the media space should be a lesson for the Foreign Ministry.
Use the chairmanship in the UN Security Council
Ukraine must constantly remind about itself and look for the contacts not only with leaders of the world, but also with representatives of Asia and Africa, and later build its new relations on pragmatism.
The chairmanship in the UN Security Council – it is not just an excuse for debates with Russian representative Vitaly Churkin, but also an opportunity to remind the world about Ukraine as an influential European country.
Increase activity at regional level
European and Euro-Atlantic integration, given the objective and subjective reasons – is consisted rather of medium- and long-term objectives. They must be addressed comprehensively, but not everything in this work depends on Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the development of relations with the neighbors – it’s exactly the sphere of competence of Ukraine. And there are at least two promising directions - building relationships with Visegrad Four and searching for ways of GUAM resuscitation, which is possible due to the emergence of economic interest, shared by the quartet of post-Soviet countries, each of which has a problem in relations with Russia.