The European Union in the Mirror of the Ukrainian Crisis (2013–2014)
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Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2015-03-31
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(1):107-125
In November 2013, largely under the pressure of Russia, the Ukrainian authorities decided not to sign the association agreement with the European Union (EU). Such decision led to massive social protests in Ukraine, and ultimately to a major political crisis. In February the president Victor Yanukovych was overthrown. In counter-reaction the Russian Federation invaded the Ukrainian Crimea and launched a proxy war in the Eastern Ukraine. If the strength of the pro-European protests was an opportunity for the European Union, the recent developments in Ukraine has also pointed out some weaknesses of the EU policy towards its Eastern neighbourhood. First, EU has been unable to present an association offer which would be truly attractive and reliable for the postSoviet Ukraine in the period of deep economic crisis. Second, the Ukrainian crisis has shown that EU is unable to react quickly and decisively to challenges rising in its neighbourhood. Third, the European Union remains unwilling to engage into open confrontation with the Russian Federation over the common neighbourhood, which is due both to the role of Russia as EU political and economic partner and the specificity of the EU power in international relations. Within this context the EU diplomacy was replaced by the most influent member states, which are highly interested in the EU cooperation with Russia and/or Ukraine.
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