Ukraine Foreign Policy

Ukraine Foreign Policy


Pro-European Governments

In the presidential elections on May 25, 2014, entrepreneur P. Poroshenko was able to win the absolute majority of votes in the first ballot, far ahead of Tymoshenko . Poroshenko was introduced to the office of President on June 7, 2014. On October 26, 2014, early parliamentary elections were held after the ruling coalition broke up and were won by the pro-western parties. The strongest force in parliament was the Petro Poroshenko Bloc (BPP) with 132 seats, in front of the Popular Front (NF) of Prime Minister A. Yatsenyuk , which won 82 seats. The third strongest force was the likewise pro-Western Union Self-Help (OS) with 33 seats in front of the Eurosceptic opposition bloc (OP), which had 29 seats. In large parts of eastern Ukraine and in the annexed Crimea, there was no election. In the “People’s Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, the separatists also held elections on November 2, 2014, although the Ukrainian parliament passed a law in September 2014 to implement the Minsk agreements to strengthen the autonomy of these regions. The newly elected Ukrainian parliament was constituted on November 27, 2014. A. Yatsenyuk was re-elected Prime Minister with 341 votes in favor, with 390 MPs present. The parties BPP, NF, OS, VOB and RPL had agreed to form a coalition in advance of the meeting.

According to findjobdescriptions, domestic policy focused on combating corruption, reforming the judiciary, the pension system and health care system, and stabilizing public finances. To do this, Ukraine also had to use aid loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The unresolved conflict in Donbass and the annexation of Crimea seriously affected the country’s economic situation. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s government increasingly lost popular support due to poor economic development and allegations of corruption. President Poroshenko urged Yatsenyuk to resign. On February 16, 2016, a vote of no confidence in Yatsenyuk in parliament failed, nevertheless he submitted his resignation on April 11, 2016. The new Prime Minister on April 14, 2016 was the previous Speaker of Parliament, WB Hrojsman, at the head of a coalition of BPP and NF.

In the presidential elections in March / April 2019, P. Poroshenko was clearly defeated by the political newcomer and television actor V. Selenskyj , who won over 73% of the vote. Zelenskyi was sworn in on May 20, 2019. After his inauguration, the law graduate announced the dissolution of parliament and early parliamentary elections, which will take place on July 21. took place. His party »Servants of the People« (SN), founded in 2018, won an absolute majority of the seats. Zelensky presented himself as an alternative to the political elite and a fighter against widespread corruption. He also promised a solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He stuck to the foreign policy course of integration with the West.

Foreign policy orientation

With the Minsk Agreement (December 8, 1991), Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine replaced the Treaty of December 30, 1922 on the establishment of the Soviet Union and constituted the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. In March 1992 Ukraine became a member of the CSCE (later the OSCE).

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the question of Crimea’s nationality and the division of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet led to a long-term dispute between Ukraine and Russia. It was not until 1997 that they concluded a basic treaty (Russia renouncing territorial claims and recognizing Ukrainian independence), which Ukraine no longer extended in 2018, so that it expires on March 31, 2019.

Relations with other neighboring countries were also placed on a new basis (including the 1997 Polish-Ukrainian “Joint Declaration on Understanding and Reconciliation”, a treaty on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border and a basic treaty with Romania). In October 2002 Ukraine and Lithuania agreed a permanent “Council of Presidents” to clarify bilateral and regional issues.

Even after the fundamental understanding with Russia, this relationship, which remained of central importance for Ukraine (including dependence on Russian energy supplies), turned out to be problematic. In the CIS, where Ukraine turned against the political dominance of Russia, she preferred v. a. economic relations; During their chairmanship of the Council of CIS Heads of State (2003-04), Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan agreed in September 2003 to create a “Single Economic Area”. T. moved away again. A Russian-Ukrainian dispute over the sea border in the Kerch Strait broke out on Dec. Completed in 2003 with the signing of an agreement on the joint use of the sea routes in this area (exchange of the instruments of ratification in April 2004). Reinforcing a continued “strategic partnership” with Russia, President Yushchenko pushed the pursuit of NATO accession postulated by his predecessor (1997 NATO-Ukraine Charter, 2002 NATO-Ukraine Action Plan, renewed membership target in April 2005) and membership in the European Union. As the first member of the CIS, Ukraine signed a partnership and cooperation agreement with the EU on June 14, 1994 (in force since March 1, 1998). On November 9, 1995, Ukraine was admitted to the Council of Europe. In 2010 the Yanukovych government moved away from the goal of NATO membership, but maintained a partnership with the Alliance.

In April 2010, the Ukrainian parliament approved a contract stipulating the stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean peninsula until at least 2042. At the same time, Ukraine received assurances of discounts for Russian gas deliveries, the scope and price of which have been the subject of repeated disputes since a contract was signed in 2009. International disputes initiated in 2014 ended by an international arbitration tribunal in December 2017 and February 2018, essentially in favor of Ukraine.

In connection with the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia unilaterally revoked the 2010 fleet stationing agreement. In order to support Ukraine in the Crimean conflict with Russia, the political part of an association agreement with the EU was signed in Brussels on March 21, 2014, the economic part was signed on June 27, 2014. On December 23, 2014 the parliament of Ukraine voted for the abolition of the country’s freedom of association. The agreement finally came into force on January 1, 2016.

Ukraine Foreign Policy