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EU–Russian Relations and the Ukraine Crisis

Nicholas R. Smith

This book assesses the competitive and contentious EU–Russia relationship in relation to Ukraine from 2010 to 2013, focusing on the important areas of trade, energy and security. The key issue explored is whether this relationship played any meaningful role in the deterioration of the situation in Ukraine since late 2013.
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Chapter 5: Conflicting security preferences? Assessing the regime promotion strategies of the EU and Russia in Ukraine

Nicholas R. Smith


This chapter examines security as an area of the EU–Russia–Ukraine triangular relationship. First, the EU’s attempt to promote a pro-EU regime in Kiev and Russia’s counter-attempt to secure a loyal regime in Kiev is examined. For the EU, after outlining its historical security focus in its foreign policies for Eastern Europe, its specific Association Agreement policy is considered in relation to its efforts to secure a pro-EU regime in Ukraine. Regarding Russia, after an overview of its historical security aims in its foreign policies for Eastern Europe, its security policy, as enshrined in its Eurasian integration project(s), sought to impede Ukraine from siding with the EU and keep it within Russia’s sphere of privileged interest. After examining Ukraine’s response, it is concluded that the EU and Russia clearly had conflicting security aims for Ukraine as neither side was prepared to make compromises on their policies. Thus, what ensued was a zero-sum game where both sides competed in securing the compliance of Ukraine within their own security architectures, leading to a marked increase in instability.

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