The Russian-European Union competition in Ukraine
Sullivan, Kyle A.
Yost, David S.
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The Ukraine crisis underway since November 2013 is a significant occurrence in a greater debate over what norms will prevail in the European—and global—security environment. The roots of the crisis lie in two-and-a-half decades of competition for influence in Ukraine by the European Union and the Russian Federation. The competition between Russia and the EU over Ukraine has evolved significantly since Ukraine became independent in 1991. This thesis shows that the European Union’s level of awareness of and competition with Russia for influence in Ukraine has significantly grown. Ukraine’s position in EU diplomacy has grown from secondary status to being regarded as a critical interest across EU institutions and member state governments. While Russian efforts to establish dominant influence in Ukraine have also intensified, Moscow’s interest in Ukraine has been consistently high. The findings of this thesis indicate that the European Union has not given up on Ukraine nor accepted the legitimacy of a Russian sphere of influence in post-Soviet states. Competition between Russia and the European Union over Ukraine is likely to intensify and remain at a high level for the foreseeable future.
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