The Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty and the search for regional stability in Eastern Europe
Stewart, Dale B
Laba, Roman A.
Patenaude, Bertrand M.
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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, world attention has focused on the future of the new independent states (NIS) in Central and Eastern Europe. Ukraine has been of particular importance because, m becoming an independent state, it has completely changed the geopolitics of Eastern Europe. Ukraine's independence pushed Russian borders 500 miles to the east and limited Russia's access to the Black Sea. Since 1991, Ukraine and Russia were unable to sign a Friendship Treaty recognizing each others borders. The signing of this treaty has appeared imminent since 1993, but was always delayed--most recently in October 1996. A series of contentious issues emerged which cast doubt not only on Ukraine's stability and future existence, but also on Russia's. All the post-Soviet Union arrangements were in question. After almost six years of negotiations, insult, and conilict, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchina signed the treaty on 31 May 1997. In the end, it was NATO enlargement that forced Russia to sign the treaty and to recognize Ukraine as an independent state. This is a study of the difficult process and the issues that arose during negotiations
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