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Title: Ukraine, EU and Russia: soft power versus Realpolitik?
Authors: Barata, Pedro
Keywords: Security
European Union
Eurasian Economic Union
Eastern Neighbouring Policy
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: OBSERVARE: Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa
Citation: Barata, Pedro (2014). "Ukraine, EU and Russia: soft power versus Realpolitik?". JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations,Vol. 5, n.º 1 (May-October 2014), pp. 31-47. Consulted [online] on date of last view,
Abstract: The relationship between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine began in 1998 with the signature of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Afterwards, in 2003 Ukraine joined the European Neighbourhood Policy and in 2004 EU was already the major trade partner with Ukraine, bigger than Russia. Anticipating the approach of former soviet republics towards Euro Atlantic structures and the foreseen loss of influence in its near abroad, Putin’s Russia launched in 2011 the Eurasian Economic Union, an economic bloc formed by some of the Russia’s former satellite States - Belarus and Kazakhstan – and through a carrot and stick policy tried to attract also Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, in order to thwart the Chinese economic development and to impose itself in the regional and global markets. In November 2013, during the 3rd EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yanukovych surprised the world refusing to sign the Commercial Agreement with EU, turning back to a EU possible integration. On the other hand, Russia offered to reduce the natural gas rates plus a fifteen billion dollars loan, throwing Ukraine in a quasi civil war, and leaving EU and Russia on opposite sides. Considering this situation what to expect from Ukraine? To continue being a Russian satellite or head towards the Euro Atlantic geopolitical space? This paper intents to analyse the actual situation in Ukraine following Barry Buzan’s approach of multidimensional security, focusing on the different postures assumed by each one of the actors - EU and Russia - which have been between complementarity and division. The scope of the analysis is to contribute to the academic debate about security dynamics between EU, Russia and Ukraine during the post-USSR period, arguing that in the geopolitical dispute for the post-soviet space where Ukraine is integrated, the Russian Realpolitik prevails the EU soft power.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISSN: 1647-7251
Publisher Version:,-n-%C2%BA1-may-october-2014/articles/266-ukraine,-eu-and-russia-soft-power-versus-realpolitik
Appears in Collections:BUAL - Artigos/Papers
OBSERVARE - JANUS.NET e-journal of International Relations. Vol. 5, n. 1 (May - October 2014)

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