The tug of war between the Euro-Atlantic bloc and the Russian Federation to co-opt Ukraine into their respective spheres of influence, has reached its peak of tension when in November 2013 the Ukrainian government scrapped the country’s European Union Association Agreement, and decided the consequent approach towards Moscow signing a sound economic and cooperation agreement, giving way to the Euromaidan protests in the following months culminating with February’s bloody clashes in Kiev that led to the removal from power of president Yanukovich and the release of former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko. The events in Kiev triggered Russian separatism in the strategic Crimea region as well, leading to an increased Russian military presence in this Black Sea peninsula. The stake for both regional players is indeed high, since the geopolitical position of Ukraine, with its 47 million inhabitants, is historically and strategically relevant as a buffer zone between Western Europe and Russia. It has also assumed additional momentum as a primary gateway to Europe for oil and natural gas coming from Russia. If from the European Union’s standpoint the integration of Kiev into its sphere of influence would boost the overall trust in the European project and strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe, in the Kremlin’s view it is a crucial imperative, both for the ancient cultural, religious and ethnic ties that bind the two countries since the time of the Kievan Rus’, and for practical geopolitical considerations as well, as for instance, the momentous Ukrainian presence in the future Russian-led Eurasian Union. The situation for the future of Ukraine divided between pro-European, pro-Russian, and nationalist tendencies remains strongly uncertain; caught between the possible destiny of a return into the Russian orbit, the potential risks of partitioning along the historical East-West lines of cleavage and a consequent balkanization of the country.

Cella, G., Dove va Kiev? L’eterno dilemma Est-Ovest” Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore: N.7 2014, <<QUADERNI DEL DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE POLITICHE>>, 2014; 2014 (Febbraio): 217-243 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/67025]

Dove va Kiev? L’eterno dilemma Est-Ovest” Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore: N.7 2014

Cella, Giorgio
2014

Abstract

The tug of war between the Euro-Atlantic bloc and the Russian Federation to co-opt Ukraine into their respective spheres of influence, has reached its peak of tension when in November 2013 the Ukrainian government scrapped the country’s European Union Association Agreement, and decided the consequent approach towards Moscow signing a sound economic and cooperation agreement, giving way to the Euromaidan protests in the following months culminating with February’s bloody clashes in Kiev that led to the removal from power of president Yanukovich and the release of former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko. The events in Kiev triggered Russian separatism in the strategic Crimea region as well, leading to an increased Russian military presence in this Black Sea peninsula. The stake for both regional players is indeed high, since the geopolitical position of Ukraine, with its 47 million inhabitants, is historically and strategically relevant as a buffer zone between Western Europe and Russia. It has also assumed additional momentum as a primary gateway to Europe for oil and natural gas coming from Russia. If from the European Union’s standpoint the integration of Kiev into its sphere of influence would boost the overall trust in the European project and strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe, in the Kremlin’s view it is a crucial imperative, both for the ancient cultural, religious and ethnic ties that bind the two countries since the time of the Kievan Rus’, and for practical geopolitical considerations as well, as for instance, the momentous Ukrainian presence in the future Russian-led Eurasian Union. The situation for the future of Ukraine divided between pro-European, pro-Russian, and nationalist tendencies remains strongly uncertain; caught between the possible destiny of a return into the Russian orbit, the potential risks of partitioning along the historical East-West lines of cleavage and a consequent balkanization of the country.
Italiano
Cella, G., Dove va Kiev? L’eterno dilemma Est-Ovest” Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore: N.7 2014, <<QUADERNI DEL DIPARTIMENTO DI SCIENZE POLITICHE>>, 2014; 2014 (Febbraio): 217-243 [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/67025]
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