The Future of Transatlantic Relations: Perceptions, Policy and Practice

By Andrew M. Dorman; Joyce P. Kaufman | Go to book overview

10 Transatlantic Relations

A View from Ukraine

Deborah Sanders1


Introduction

Since the ‘Orange Revolution’ at the end of 2004, Ukraine’s foreign policy prioritized Euro-Atlantic integration.2 The former president, Viktor Yushchenko, stated that his main goal was to secure Ukraine’s membership in the EU and NATO and, at least in the early months of his presidency, the prospects of membership in both organisations appeared bright.3 With the election this year of a new Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine continues to pursue a foreign policy that prioritises Europe and good relations with the US, but has moved decisively away from actively pursuing NATO membership. In a recent visit to Brussels President Yanukovych highlighted the elements of continuity in Ukraine’s foreign policy by signaling his intent to secure Ukraine’s membership of the EU and signed an association agreement to build closer trade, political and social links between the EU and Ukraine. In April of this year Yanukovych also highlighted the importance of strengthening good relations with the US when he agreed at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington to renounce the nation’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the 2008 US-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership. Yanukovych has, however, explicitly rejected Ukraine’s former foreign policy goal of securing NATO membership. Yanukovych has instead pledged to continue cooperation with NATO while pursuing non-bloc status aimed at improving and strengthening relations with Ukraine’s largest and most powerful neighbour, the Russian

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