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Ukraine’s Changing Foreign Policy: Implications on the Black Sea Security

This article examines the current state of affairs in the Black Sea region by examining Ukrainian foreign policy and its implications on regional security. The focus is on Ukraine’s security dilemmas and regional priorities, which have gone through drastic changes after the country’s 2010 presidential elections. In order to meet Russian interests in the Black Sea region, the new Ukrainian government recently took some dramatic decisions. Among them, which were scandalously adopted by the Ukrainian parliament, was the president’s decision to refuse integration into NATO and to extend stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea. These and other issues are discussed in the article, and possible future scenarios in regional politics between the regional powers and the USA, EU, and NATO are also examined. The success of the European security architecture depends on the extent to which the regional and global powers can work to establish a functioning security system in the Black Sea region.

Ukraine s Changing Foreign Policy Implications on the Black Sea
Ukraine is still in the Russian zone of political, economic, historical, cultural and psychological influence
 

Since 1991, the newly constructed system of international relations in the Black Sea region has not been static and has dramatically changed. The “post-Cold War” international situation in the Black Sea region has been developing due to constant geopolitical tensions on different systemic levels with a number of insiders and outsiders involved at the same time. Ukraine, as a Black Sea littoral state, remains one of the regional actors who has an important input into the new regional impetus, though it has to base its regional policy on the actions of more influential actors. The last six or seven years has showed that Ukraine’s foreign policy is pretty much dependent on the geopolitical orientation of the ruling elites rather than on long-term, widely shared, accepted and supported national interests. Unfortunately, the substance of what could be named “the Ukrainian national interests” – both in domestic and foreign policy – is the subject for internal discussion and debate in Ukrainian society still, while official documents remain “foggy” in explaining the mechanisms of the state’s strategy.1 

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