SKRIBA A.S. Three myths about Ukraine balansing between Russia and European Union


Skriba Andrey Sergeevich

Postgraduate student, Department of World Policy,

National Research University “The Higher School of Economy”

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ul. Myasnitskaya, 20, 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation

Abstract. The debate about the integration choice of the Ukraine during the last decade has traditionally been based on three well-known theses: (1) unique importance of the Ukraine to European and Eurasian integrations; (2) Russian desire to involve the Ukraine into the Eurasian integration by any means; (3) the Ukraine as a key point of the RussiaEU relations, still characterized as a zero-sum game. In this article, the author refutes the main stereotypes of Ukraine’s balancing policy. Firstly, both actors (Russian and EU) expect the Ukraine to enter their integrations only in case this country meets their expectations. Otherwise, the only thing they need is to prevent its cooperation with an alternative actor. That is why, secondly, Russia will not pay a price for Ukrainian integration that it would consider as unacceptable. The Russian current policy is just about establishing fair relations with the Ukraine, without any benefits and subsidies. Thirdly, if the Ukraine becomes an integration participant, yet it doesn’t mean that the actor it approaches with has clear advantages and they both will have only win-win outcomes. Even within the integration, the Ukraine seems to continue its balancing policy, trying to get maximum profit, giving minimum contribution. Finally, the study shows that these theses have a negative impact on the development of the Russia-Ukraine cooperation either. Critical analysis of these theses made it possible to free the Russia-Ukraine relations from a speculating component and discovered the true essence of the conflicts between the two countries. In addition, the research results can improve the policy aimed at the effective involvement of the Ukraine in the Eurasian integration process. 

Key words: Ukraine, balancing policy, integration, balance of power between Russia and EU, minor states’ policies.

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Three myths about Ukraine balansing between Russia and European Union by SKRIBA A.S. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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