The Orange Revolution of November/December 2004, set in motion by a ne wly assertive Ukrainian society, opened a new chapter in Ukrainian history and led to a tangible change in international politics. Europe and the rest of the world were challenged to come to terms with the unexpected demands of a new wave of democratic development, the strongest since the velvet revolutions of the late 1980s in Central and Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union. This memo will provide a brief analysis of three aspects of the international impact of recent events in Ukraine.
The first is the so called ‘rediscovery’ of Ukraine by the West after several years of neglect. This rediscovery may lead to a reshaping of the European political map if Ukraine’s transformation is continued through the consistent application of policy by a new Yushchenko government. The second is the collapse, or at least a weakening, of Mr. Putin’s neo- imperial policy toward the NIS. The third relates to the call for further democratization in Eastern Europe, which is likely to become a real challenge for existing autocracies and semi-democratic regimes such as Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. […]