Wojciech Konończuk is a senior scholar at the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) in Warsaw, Poland, where he is head of the Department for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. His professional interests include political and economic situation in Eastern Europe, energy policy and Russian energy sector. Prior to joining OSW in 2007, Kononczuk was an analyst and co-ordinator of Belarusian and Ukrainian projects at the Warsaw-based Stefan Batory Foundation (OSI network).  He graduated of the Institute of International Relations (M.A.) of the University of Warsaw and Centre for East European Studies (M.A.) of the University of Warsaw. He also studied at the Petersburg State University and Warsaw School of Economics. He extensively writes on the current development in Eastern Europe countries.

Project Summary

Relations with Russia have been the dominant question for independent Ukraine, as they directly affect Ukrainian economy, politics and relationship with other foreign actors. The political practice of the last twenty years clearly shows that Ukraine’s sovereignty and its room for maneuver in the foreign policy have been seriously limited by Russia’s policy goals. Kyiv has to find a way to solve a serious dilemma - i.e. how to combine its aspirations for independent foreign policy with its asymmetric and vulnerable dependence on Russia in the fields of economy (main trading partner), energy (nearly monopolistic energy supplier) as well as informal corruption schemes between the interest groups of both countries. In the framework of this project research will be particularly focused on two interdependent topics, which heavily influence Ukraine’s position vis-à-vis Russia: changing model of the Ukrainian economy and current situation in the Ukrainian energy sector and its prospects.

Major Publications