(YaleGlobal Online) ODESSA: Russia relations with Ukraine in the post-Soviet era may certainly be divided into two periods uneven in length. The first one was a period of relative peace between 1991 and 2014. The second one is ongoing, a time of war, since the end of February 2014. Hopefully, the second period will end up much shorter one than the first. However, there are many reasons to expect that the next period – the post-war one – will differ from the first. It might yet be another period of peace, but a very different kind of peace.
Vladimir Putin’s gamble of using military force in Crimea and Donbas has changed the relationship drastically. Ukraine has achieved levels of consolidation previously unseen. One indicator of the change in public attitudes is a dramatic increase of support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO. For years, the public was divided on this issue more or less evenly. Today Ukrainians recognize that to deal with the Russian threat Ukraine needs a collective security arrangement. Talk of a Budapest memorandum being a sufficient safeguard of Ukraine’s security, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma’s “multi-dimensional foreign policy” or former President Viktor Yanukovich’s “active neutrality” have proved irrelevant. A referendum on NATO membership in Ukraine could count on a comfortable win. […]
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