Ukraine lost the information campaign during the gas conflict with Russia, James Sherr, the head of the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs) in London, believes.

“This crisis showed that Ukraine’s officials don’t understand the importance of communication at the governmental level. The West did not hear Ukraine,” he told a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.

According to Sherr, Ukraine take a number of corect steps, but Europe did not know about it; and those who knew did not understand why Ukraine did this or that.” 

“The problems caused by the gas crisis are clearly problems of a European nature and they will not be solved until the EU itself becomes a protagonist and is willing to understand and deal with the political dimension of this relationship, and develops the tools to do so,” he said.

“We must understand two things. First, in this crisis Russia consistently and conspicuously behaved like a country that is not part of the Euro-Atlantic community and has no wish to be a part of it. Second, Ukraine conspicuously failed to behave like a country that wishes to be part of the Euro-Atlantic community. This is the similarity, and this is the difference,” Sherr pointed out. 

According to the expert, Ukrainain officials should have contacted their European colleagues regularly and informed them about the course of the gas crisis, its reasons and taken steps. 

“The country must completely change the principle of communication with Europeans if it wants to integrate into Europe,” Sherr underlined.

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