Strengthening Ukraine: Sharing knowledge for a sustainable future

Conference, Oslo, 30 November 2023


Oslo, 30 November 2023

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine. Russia’s war has brought enormous human suffering, large-scale destruction of places and infrastructure, and massive environmental damage to Ukraine. Several million Ukrainians have had to flee their country, and many of them seek shelter in the Nordic and Baltic states, with uncertain prospects. Although the war is still ongoing, rebuilding of liberated territories and destroyed houses and infrastructure all over Ukraine has commenced. The estimated costs of reconstruction are higher than 2.6 times Ukraine’s entire 2022 GDP. Russia’s warfare has made Ukraine the most mined country in the world, with severe consequences for people’s health, economic activity and the environment. The Nordic and Baltic countries may help Ukraine to emerge stronger from the reconstruction process.

On 30 November 2023, the Nordic-Baltic knowledge-based input network to the rebuilding of Ukraine, HROMADA, organized a half-day conference in Oslo on how research may contribute to the strengthening and sustainable development of Ukraine. The aim was to kick off a dialogue with decision-makers and business representatives on how the expertise of researchers may contribute to the rebuilding efforts of public and private actors from the Nordic and Baltic states. For this purposed HROMADA invited politicians and decision makers, researchers and experts from Nordic and Baltic countries and Ukraine to discuss topics of the utmost importance for the future of Ukraine – our future.

contributions and Results


12:30-13:30 Welcome and introductory speeches

Confirmed speakers

Christen Krogh, Rector, Oslo Metropolitan University

Hans Kjetil Lysgård, Vice Rector for Research and Interdisciplinary Projects, University of Agder

Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers

Ihor Holovchenko, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Norway

Arne Flåøyen, Director, NordForsk

Tetyana Kaganovska, Rector, Karazin Kharkiv National University

Anne Pintsch, HROMADA leader, University of Agder

13:45-14:45 Panel I: Building Back Better: How Nordic and Baltic countries can support Ukraine’s sustainable rebuilding

The full-scale Russian invasion has inflicted extensive direct and indirect environmental damage upon Ukraine’s ecosystem, its fertile soil, and water resources. Drawing on decades of experience in environmental protection and regional cooperation on environmental and climate issues, Nordic and Baltic countries possess valuable knowledge that can aid in Ukraine’s sustainable rebuilding. The panel aims to assess the damage of the war, and explore strategies that Nordic and Baltic countries can employ to contribute to Ukraine’s sustainable rebuilding. What lessons from Nordic and Baltic experiences can Ukraine benefit from? What should be the primary objectives of sustainable rebuilding efforts? Who should be the key stakeholders in this process?

Confirmed speakers

Ulf Bojö, Vice President, Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, NEFCO

Olena Maslyukivska, Visiting Researcher, University of Vaasa and Associate Professor, NaUKMA

Jiayi Zhou, Researcher, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI

Giedrė Dailidėnaitė, Board member of the Ukrainian-Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce

Alina Zubkovych, HROMADA Steering Group and Nordic Ukraine Forum

Karina Shyrokykh, HROMADA Steering Group and Associate Professor, Stockholm University

15:05-16:05 Panel II: Ukrainian refugees in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Integration dilemmas

According to UNHCR, almost 6 million Ukrainian refugees had been registered in Europe by the end of August 2023, with large numbers of them seeking protection in the Nordic and Baltic countries. While all these countries have granted collective protection to Ukrainian refugees – a status that allows Ukrainians to stay and work for a limited period – their integration policies vary significantly. As Russia’s war has become a protracted one, questions about the potential future return to Ukraine arise. What are the policy rationales currently shaping policies towards Ukrainian refugees in the Nordic and Baltic countries? How do they solve the integration dilemmas of this group? And how do Ukrainian authorities respond to a potential loss of a large share of the population remaining abroad after the war when human resources will be needed for the country’s rebuilding?

Confirmed speakers

Halwan Ibrahim, Assistant Director at IMDi/ Directorate of Integration and Diversity, Norway

Karolis Zibas, Integration Officer, UNHCR Representation for the Nordic and Baltic countries

Oksana Shmulyar Gréen, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg

Olga Biesha, Coordinator ‘Svenska med baby’, Ukrainian refugee in Sweden

Vilde Hernes, Senior Researcher, Oslo Metropolitan University

Aadne Aasland, HROMADA Steering Group and NIBR, Oslo Metropolitan University

16:25-17:25 Panel III: War crimes. How securing justice for Ukraine contributes to the rebuilding process

Ensuring justice to the victims of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine and their families is an essential matter for the post-war rebuilding of Ukraine. Though Russia’s war against Ukraine is the world’s most documented war, it will take time and a lot of efforts to prosecute all war criminals, especially those currently in power. Legal and procedural challenges are thereby aggravated by the politicization of everything related to the war and the making of the post-war European order. In this light, the panel will discuss: (i) practices and challenges of documenting and investigating Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine; (ii) international cooperation and public-private interactions in the investigations of war crimes; (iii) the role of international courts in (re)building justice for Ukraine and (iv) the potential support of Nordic and Baltic states and organizations.

Confirmed speakers

Evhen Tsybulenko, Professor, Tallin University of Technology

Gaiane Nuridzhanian, Postdoctoral Fellow, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway

Kateryna Latysh, Assistant Professor, Vilnius University

Roman Nekoliak, Centre for Civil Liberties, Ukraine

Maryna Rabinovych, Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Agder

17:30 End of the conference

Scroll to Top