A Study on the Choices of Foreign Economic and Trade Relations in Post-Soviet Countries:The Case of Ukraine
Author: Cheng-chi Kuang
Abstract / Chinese PDF Download
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many integration organizations, such as the Commonwealth of Independence States (CIS), the Eurasian Economic Community, and the Eurasian Economic Union appeared in the former Soviet territory. However, because there are serious differences in the positions of member states, integration has been slow. CIS countries, which are within the traditional sphere of influence and serve as a natural buffer zone for Russia, are of great significance to Russian regional security, stability and economic development. On the other hand, as the EU expands eastward, the Eastern Partner Program was launched in an attempt to influence the countries of the former Soviet Union and squeeze into Russia’s geostrategic space.
After the Ukrainian crisis, the political power of the pro-European faction was in an overwhelmingly superior position. Ukraine chose to side with the EU and confronted Russia. However, due to pressure from Russia, the domestic economy of Ukraine has not improved and there has been no significant progress in joining the EU. The rise of the new Ukrainian President Zelensky in 2019 represents the dissatisfaction of the Ukrainian people with traditional political figures. This paper finds through a case study in Ukraine that when facing the situation with Russia and the EU, and at the same time finding itself in a staggered international situation, the Ukrainian government implements a hedging strategy. However, if the big power (Russia) cannot tolerate this and asks for it to choose a side, the small power (Ukraine) can only choose between being pro-Europe or pro-Russia, and the hedging foreign policy strategy cannot continue.