No. 64 – December 2015
Author: Christopher Milton Paul
The EuroMaidan crisis, the removal of President Janukovyč by means of a coup d’état, the civil war in Ukraine and the subsequent secession of Crimea are the focus of this work. The future prospects of the Ukrainian state are taken into consideration in their relations with US, Russian and EU foreign policies and their reciprocal interconnections. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the USA have asserted their global power through the assumption of a unipolar and unilateral stance. In the case of Ukraine this was implemented by encouraging the approach between the Country and the EU which served the purpose of securing a crucial Eurasian pivot to US influence and the containment of the Russian Federation through a cordon to its west, composed by NATO Member (or potential Member) States. After the election of President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation has been attempting to recover its Global Power status. The DCFTA treaty between Ukraine and the EU was clearly in contrast with such aspiration and considered a blatant intromission in Moscow’s perceived Near Abroad sphere of influence. The fact that a large minority of the Ukrainian population were either of Russian origin or Russian Speaking People, topped by the enormous strategic importance that Crimea and Sebastopol hold for Russia, explains the Federation’s muscular and assertive stance in the annexation of Crimea and the support of secessionist movements in the Donbass area. The role of the EU has been largely gregarious to US interests, although Germany and France have shown a certain tendency to accept compromise through their diplomatic stance, which led to the Minsk II agreement. The future of Ukraine is highly uncertain and it is hard to foresee a solution in the short or medium term. The conflict appears as destined to become the pretext for Cold War 2.0.