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Ukraine And European Security - International Mechanisms
As Non-Military Options For National Security Of Ukraine.
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Chapter 2. Ukraine's National Interests. Existing Trends In Foreign And Security Policies.
Section 2. Ukrainian Foreign and Security Policy and Realization of National Policy Objectives.
2.1. Initial formation of Ukraine's state policy.
The outlines of Ukraine's foreign policy, as well as the principle of Ukraine's neutrality have began to appear at the end of 1990.(116) The foreign policy orientation was defined in three main directions - 'the neighouing states', 'the states with significant Ukrainian minority' and the "administrative-territorial units" of certain states. At that time Ukraine, being within the USSR, perceived its foreign policy as the part of great state unit.(117)
With gaining its independence in August 1991, Ukraine started to implement more distinct external policy course and from the beginning, Kiev gave its priority to relations with Western and Central Europe, as well as the United States and Canada. The special importance has been addressed to Russia and the CIS countries, which Ukraine has treated as 'strategic partners'. Coinciding with policy of so-called strategy of 'negation' in Kiev at that time,(118) which was aimed to quick distancing from Russian domination, the term 'strategic' has always been used by Ukrainian officials for identification of equivalence in relations with its Eastern neighbours. And, unlike in Russian interpretation, 'strategic partnership' always meant closer and cordial relations with CIS states, as their normalization is a factor of stability in Europe.(119)
A strong dedication to sovereignty has often lead many Ukrainian leaders to a delicate specifity in political terminology. For instance, most Ukrainian leaders have accentuate the use of term 'integration' rather than 'union', when stressing their perception of economic cooperation among CIS states.(120)
Rejecting efforts to recreate any framework of the USSR-type cooperation, Ukrainian leaders have put an important emphasis on developing its relations with Central European states. Nevertheless, since late 1992 it was a gradual disappointment concerning the character and degree of support Ukraine can expect from these countries.
Apart of falling expectations to find partners in Central Europe, there was also a depression in Ukraine's relations with Western Europe during 1992-1993. While Kiev has consistently attempted to balance Russia by cultivating alternative ties with the West, Western leaders on their side have been acute not to antagonize Russia and provided Ukraine only with a narrow political and financial support.
All these factors have driven to the big domestic debate on the fate of nuclear weapons on Ukraine's soil. Since than and until 1994, more than any other Soviet successor state, Ukraine's foreign policy was tangled with security issues in the perception of both - country's leadership and international community.
In addition, Ukraine's weakness in its foreign and security policies formulation also seems to be a notable predicament of previously mentioned developments. The Defence Doctrine and the Foreign Policy Concept were adopted by the Ukrainian parliament only in 1993. Although these documents placed a great emphasis on the process of nation-building, what was seemed quite understandable given the absence of state-hood tradition in Ukrainian history, they have failed to specify clear aims of future country's policies.
The "Main Guidelines of Ukraine's Foreign Policy" provided only general review of country's desire to preserve its integrity, expand foreign economic cooperation, ensure international security, etc. Lacking clear goals and specifity, the foreign policy's document has met some critic on domestic level. For instance, when the draft of the concept was debated by Ukrainian parliamentarians, several MP stressed that it does not provide more specific details on state's attitudes to the CIS, etc.(121).
The process of adoption of the military doctrine took on its side more than one year of strong discussions and two rejected drafts.(122) The main issues of discussion over the military doctrine were the non-nuclear status of Ukraine and its state's neutral status.(123)
Afterwards, when the Concept of the Military Doctrine was finally adopted by the Parliament in July 1993, it has not outlined a comprehensive framework, which for instance at least identifies potential adversaries, could threaten Ukrainian security. In fact, the Ukrainian leadership has used the following as an official premise of Ukrainian security policy: that no state should be identified as an enemy for Ukraine.(124) At the same time, whereas neutrality and non-nuclear status were the constituent parts of Ukraine's temporary 'negation' strategy, they have produced controversies in world's understanding and perception of Ukraine. First and foremost, as many authors admit, because they mostly displayed "what the country does not want to be, and less what it wants to be".(125)
Together with huge nuclear arsenal on Ukraine's soil, Ukrainian neutral status seemed to be provocative on international level and attempts of Ukrainian leaders to harmonize opposite trends in its policy threatened in loosing of international recognition.(126)
In regard to the former, many authors objectively state that whole process of negotiations over Ukrainian nuclear question illustrated such a distinctive mark of country's foreign policy as obsession with external security. It also reflected clear link between external and domestic circumstances as well as the fact, that conflicting interests of different political groups were rather weak foundation for creating a coherent security policy.
One can also find, that adoption of the neutral status by Ukraine was largely a reflection of Baltic states' strategy, which also used neutrality to distance themselves from any new multi-national structure, dominated by Moscow. Newertheless, the Balts' neutrality was designed for the purposes of a short transitional period, especially for the development of ties with Western security institutions. Yet, Ukraine sees this option rather in more longer term.
There is also another important difference, which concerns simply technical question - in the case of Baltic States it was also a necessary achievement for the formation of their armed forces, which were created on a "zero-sum" option, acquiring nothing from the former-Soviet assets and thus, fundamentaly different from Ukrainian principle of "nationalization"(127).
Still, a neutral, non-block posture remains central to the national security thinking in Ukraine. Such course, however, became complex to follow, as it will be shown in the following parts of this work.