The Honorable Ambassador of Ukraine to Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Valerii Aleksandruk, delivered a lecture titled “Ukraine: Challenges on the way to the European Union” at Nile University on the 15th of November, 2017. The address which focused on Ukraine’s foreign policy; its relations with the EU, Nigeria, etc., started out with a brief lesson on the history of Ukraine.

Ukraine, located in Eastern Europe, has a rich history that goes all the way back to the 5th century (and beyond) and is littered with wonderful accomplishments like the 1710 Cossak Constitution of Pylip Orlyk (recognized as one of the best state-created documents in European history). The Eastern European nation is also the largest country in Europe and the 45th largest in the world with a population of about 42.5 million people.

Moving on to foreign policy, the ambassador highlighted the country’s major goal of European integration goal, leading to the signing of an EU-Ukraine Association agreement; which covers areas like trade, human rights, and so on, in what is an important step toward eventual EU membership. He also touched on some of the challenges facing the country’s foreign policy objectives, one of which is the terrorist organization “Luhansk People Republic” and “Donetsk People Republic” (LNR/DNR) constantly violating International Law in East Ukraine.

Switching gears, Dr. Aleksandruk stressed on Ukraine’s interest—buoyed by its wonderful relationship with Nigeria, a country she considers an important partner— in developing relations with the West Africa region, and in particular, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The event ended with a question and answer session during which the Honorable ambassador fielded questions from the audience.