Expatriates in Ukraine have an important role to play – now and in the future

As millions of refugees from war-torn Ukraine Flow in the EU, The question of Ukrainian expatriates – currently growing at a record rate – has seen an explosion in political relevance. Expatriates around the world have shown their support for their homeland and for their motherland, both strategically and humanely, but their input and support will also be important in the reconstruction of Ukraine tomorrow.

The importance of a strong relationship between an active diaspora and their homeland is well documented. A healthy exchange allows both parties to benefit from expanded economic opportunities and benefits. Greece offers an archeological example of how such a relationship could be successfully engineered – and what can happen when Armenia is neglected. For the Ukrainian people, there are lessons to be learned from these experiences that will be crucial for the Ukrainian nation in the years to come.

Expatriates as a national asset

The response of expatriates to Russia’s brutal and unprovoked attacks has been rapid and widespread. Toronto, Canada’s largest city and home to over 100,000 Ukrainian-Canadians Excess of community initiative The goal is to collect donations and send them if needed. There are Ukrainian technology professionals in the United States Is working To expedite medical supplies and disable the Kremlin. In Europe, Ukrainians are basic Convenient Protect those who have escaped from the killings.

Although these efforts are most noticeable in times of conflict, expatriates can, at any turn, increase the fortunes of their own country in their absence. With a large portion of remittances About $ 440 billion has been sent home In 2015 by immigrants from the developing world. Remittance For what reason Tajikistan accounts for 37% of total GDP, while Nepal (30%), Haiti, Liberia and Tonga (all 25%) have similarly high figures.

However, the benefits are not entirely financial. The huge Vietnamese population in the United States helped repair relations and boost trade in the 1990s, just a generation after the end of the decade-long war. Immigrants can help increase trade opportunities in their homeland by increasing the spread of knowledge across borders. This Observable Even in academic circles, where inventors and scientists will often refer to other options of their compatriots.

In addition, countries plagued by corruption, arbitrariness and inequality Is uniquely beneficial From the work that expatriate activists do to raise awareness, put pressure on international organizations, and build resistance. All of these qualities could become extremely valuable in the near future of Ukraine.

Armenia: Disagree with its own diaspora

These benefits will only be realized if there is an active involvement of both parties. Unfortunately, some countries with a large foreign population have failed to capitalize on this possibility, either by creating different political tensions or by completely ignoring their expatriates.

Armenia is a case in point. There is an expatriate in the country Up to 10 million More than 3 million people live in the motherland, which means about the same number of Armenians. In the United States Such as in Armenia. However, in recent years the division between the two communities has deepened. Local corruption at the highest levels of government and persistent, pro-Kremlin relations are deeply entrenched. Isolated Those Armenians who live in liberal democratic western countries. Moreover, a fundamental lack of trust and a hostile business climate have rarely attracted diaspora investment in domestic resources.

There are only cracks Wide As Armenia’s current political and administrative elites view the expatriates with some hostility because of their reluctance to submit to the description of their state. Expatriates, on the other hand, have recently become particularly frustrated with Armenia’s post-Soviet democratic style of governing. T.As a result, relations between the homeland and the expatriates are deeply broken and marked by mutual suspicion.

It is not surprising, therefore, that opportunities for mutual cooperation have diminished, resulting in diminished expatriate influence in Armenia and allegations that Armenians abroad are out of touch with contemporary issues – a dangerous development that risks the emergence of a conflicting perspective that could be permanently divided. Armenian nation ‘.

A young member of the American-Armenian Diaspora takes part in a demonstration in Los Angeles to commemorate the 1915 Armenian genocide.

But this danger is inherent Asymmetrical Expatriate-Armenian relations were recognized by former President Armen Sarkisian, who sought to repeal some of the rules that perpetuate discrimination against Armenians at home and abroad, such as the requirement of four years of uninterrupted residence in Armenia and restrictions on retention. Dual citizenship, for government jobs. According to To Sarkisian, “the outreach to drawing talent in Armenia is ultimately frustrated by the ‘unreasonable and meaningless rules'” as they are.

Greece: Expatriates for rescue

Because of the limited constitution of Armenia Builds A “Berlin Wall between Armenia and expatriates” – Resistance Yerevan sought constitutional reform to allow his circus to benefit Armenia from its successful diaspora – from using its diaspora as “our main asset” – but these efforts were Devaluation By internal resistance at that time. Nevertheless, Armenians should be encouraged by Greece’s success Prioritized The return of their brothers since the financial crisis has threatened the country’s long-term stability.

Faced with an unprecedented exodus of young and educated Greeks during the 2008 crisis, Athens tried in 2019 Creation A “bridge of knowledge and partnership” to build scientific and economic ties between immigrants and their homeland. It also seeks to reach out to Greeks who fled the country a few generations ago, enabling “scientists and highly educated professionals living abroad to play a direct, active role in transforming the Greek economy”, “knowledge transfer” and involvement. Entrepreneurial activities.

Other initiatives with excellent results include the introduction of expatriate voting and the encouragement to preserve the Greek language through free online. Learning tool Used by 28,000 people in 118 countries. This combination of engagement policies has tempted expatriates to return to the country, turning it into a terrible “brain drain”. “Brain gain”. In that case, Greece is following in the footsteps of Ireland Expatriate Strategy 2020 Recognizes the Diaspora as “one of Ireland’s finest resources”

Lessons of Ukraine for the future

The situation in which about 500,000 Greeks were massively persuaded to emigrate is very different from what is currently happening in Ukraine. The 1915 genocide perpetrated by the Turks prompted the creation of Armenia’s own top-heavy diaspora, which could make it a more accurate case study for further monitoring by Ukrainians, but only underscores the importance of charting a different path to the current state of expatriate relations in Armenia.

Immediate positive feedback from Ukrainian expatriates is an inspirational subplot in an otherwise tragic story. Faced with an existential threat, those in power in Kiev must ensure that this preoccupation is not lost. The various experiences of Armenia and Greece and the subsequent lost or gained future abroad should be an incentive for Ukrainians to further intensify their relations with their homeland, no matter how much it is changed by the current war.

Doing so now will give them a fair go in the years to come.

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