Since Vladimir Putin’s return as Russian president, Ukraine has been a target of Moscow’s attempts to have it accede to the Eurasian Customs Union. The Ukrainian opposition and national-minded analysts have expressed concerns that President Viktor Yanukovych may cede to the pressure, whether to seek economic relief for the country or to obtain Moscow’s political support, which he could exploit for his re-election bid in 2015. This, however, is unlikely. Gains for either the country or the regime are too uncertain and insufficient to persuade Ukraine’s leadership to break away from its balancing act in foreign policy, a feat that Kyiv has performed since independence.
PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo No. 247
by Arkady Moshes