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The Origins Of The Ukraine Crisis: Why The Ukrainian Government Withdrew Its Support For The European Union Association Agreement In 2013

Posted on:2018-07-22Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Maryniak YelyzavetaFull Text:PDF
GTID:2346330542453693Subject:International relations
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For many years relations with Europe played an important role for Ukraine.Ukraine has a population of 47 million and it is the largest country by territory in Europe.The EU is a significant economic partner for Ukraine.Relations between Ukraine and the EU began in 1991,when the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Presidency of the EU on behalf of the European Union officially recognized the independence of Ukraine.But more precisely the history of relations between Ukraine and the EU started in 1994.After this was a long relationship,summits and agreements.In 9 of September,2008 in Paris,at the summit "Ukraine-EU",preparing document got its name-"the Association Agreement".This document was a first important step for Ukraine,Ukrainian people and government.First of all,to understand the significance of research we should understand what this Association Agreement does mean.Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement(AA)is an international treaty between the European Union(EU)and Ukraine,the purpose of which is to deepen the integration between Ukraine and the European Union in the sphere of politics,trade,culture,and strengthen security.In March 2012,Ukraine and the EU initialed an Association Agreement in Brussels,including the provisions of the Free Trade Zone.Viktor Yanukovych,who took the post of the President of Ukraine in March 2010,continued movement of Ukraine towards European integration.On 18 of September 2013 the Ukrainian cabinet unanimously approved the draft association agreement.The AA planned to sign on 29 of November 2013,but in 21 of November 2013 Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement with the EU.Yanukovych government wanted to have closer economic relations with Russian Federation,and they announcing that Ukraine will join the Russian-led Customs Union(?the Eurasian Union‘).In my research I am going to connect several topics which have been described by different authors.Some of them look on the Association Agreement from the West side;some of them from the East side,describe relations between Russia and the Ukraine and between the EU and Ukraine,etc.But only several of them find the main reasons in this issue.I am interesting to know why Yanykovych government makes a radical shift away from signing an Association Agreement with the EU in November 2013.Chapter 1.Theory and MethodologyMy research is focuses on the following research question: Why did the Ukrainian government make a radical shift away from signing an Association Agreement with the EU and towards membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Union in November 2013?In terms of the timeframe,the thesis covers the period from 2010-2014,the most important period of research will be the months preceding Ukraine‘s withdrawal from the agreement in November 2013.I started in 2010,because at this year Victor Yanukovych was elected as Ukraine President in 2010.The most important year on which I focus on is 2013,because on this year Ukraine had to sign The Association Agreement with the EU,but the Yanukovych's government suddenly didn‘t sign it.The main hypothesis guiding this work is political aspect.The crucial motivation for the Ukrainian government‘s decision to move away from signing the Association Agreement with the EU and towards membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Union was political,not economic.The Yanukovych government in Ukraine faced domestic pressure to sign the Association Agreement with the EU,but ultimately decided against this,due to its own aversion to EU pressure on its record on good governance and self-enrichment,as well as increasing external pressure by Russia.For better understanding of the main research question is rational actor approach to foreign policy making.This is not the classical rational actor model suggested by Graham Allison,but a model described by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita1: foreign policy decision-makers can make rational choices based not only on the national interest,but also against the backdrop of domestic politics,including their own personal interests,such as personal power,survival in office,or personal wealth.2 I don‘t follow a comprehensive theoretical approach,but I will be relying on the conceptual framework developed by scholars like Bueno de Mesquita,and the insights he provides on how a concern for political survival frames policy choices.3In terms of methodology,I will primarily rely on process tracing,as conceived by Alexander George and Alexander Bennett.According to David Collier,Processtracing is a fundamental tool of qualitative analysis.The process-tracing was used to show why Ukrainian government made a radical shift away from signing an Association Agreement.Chapter 2.Historical context.Relations between the Ukrainian government and the EU up to 2013This chapter outlines the historical background of events which happen before creation and implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and The European Union.Without knowledge of the Ukrainian historical context,it is hard to understand why the Ukrainian people once again surprised both the Western world and national policymakers with their determined support of European Association.This chapter consists of tree subchapters.The first subchapter provides relations between The EU and Ukraine in the post-Soviet time.The second subchapter describes relations between the Ukrainian government and the EU from presidency of Victor Yushchenko.The third chapter provides chronology of relations between the Ukrainian and the EU from presidency Victor Yanukovych from 2010 up to 2013.And in this chapter I will talk about The Association Agreement between Ukraine and The EU in details.Ukraine was always an important and difficult political partner to the European Union.Relations between Ukraine and the European Union has its origins in 1991,when after the collapse of the Soviet Union,the EU recognized the secession of Ukraine from the USSR.But officially,the political dialog started in 1994 when the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement(PCA)was signed.From the time of independence in 1991,Ukraine started balancing between Western Europe and Russia.Only in 1994,after the beginning of the year has resolved the fundamental question of the removal of nuclear weapons of the former USSR from the territory of independent Ukraine and its accession to the Treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons as non-nuclear state,the United Europe has done the first concrete step in the development of relations with Ukraine.After this,on 14 of June,1994 Ukraine and EU signed Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the European communities and their member states,and Ukraine.In July 2002,Ukraine received the "special neighbor status",providing for the relief of the regime of controlled migration.In 2003 the President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma outlined the purpose of signing the Association Agreement of Ukraine with the EU and thus formally began the process of European integration.When Viktor Yushchenko came to power in 2005,he outlined European integration processes as the priorities of Ukraine's foreign policy in the coming years.On 25 January 2005,at the Council of Europe,Victor Yushenko called for support of his EU accession plan.During presidency of Victor Yushchenko the Ukraine relations with European Union became stronger.It was a few improvements in the economy,the standard of living.Since 2007,the European Commission began negotiations with Ukraine on a new basic agreement "The Association between Ukraine and the European Union".First,the EU insisted on the establishment of strategic relations with Ukraine as with the neighbor-country.Viktor Yanukovych came to power in 2010.He announced that he wanted to have stable and strong relations with Western part and also with Russia.But people in Ukraine understand that it was just empty talk and he would start to be closer to Russian Federation.Viktor Yanukovych gave first priority to cooperation with Russia,but not with Europe.In 11 of November,2011 was held in Brussels the final,twenty-first round of negotiations on concluding the Association Agreement,which was agreed to,all the provisions of the Agreement.The Ukrainian cabinet unanimously approved the draft about the Association Agreement in 18 of September 2013.On the next day after this president of Russian Federation said that if Ukraine government would sign the Association Agreement Russia would impose protectionist measures against Ukraine.Russia wanted Ukraine to join the Custom Union with the post-Soviet countries,but if the EU Association Agreement would implement,Ukraine cannot join the Custom Union.Putin said that this is the sovereign choice of Ukraine,but he continues made pressure for Ukraine.Also,everybody as in Ukraine government,as in Russia understand that,if Ukraine would sign the Association Agreement,Russia would take measures to protect its own economic interests and actively defend their markets from Ukrainian goods,such as Ukrainian chocolate ?Roshen?,and it was the question about exclusion of Ukraine from the CIS free trade zone.It is important to say that senior sources in Moscow say that in the capital of Belarus Viktor Yanukovych would make a few suggestions,including for cheaper gas prices and a large loan before the end of this year.Reichardt believes that Russia will suffer economic losses if they couldn‘t convince Ukraine to join the Customs Union.4On 30 March 2012 in Brussels the heads of the negotiation delegations initialed the Agreement.The text of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU in Ukrainian language were published on 20 June 2013 on the official website of the Committee for European integration.In August,the text of the Agreement published on the Government portal.After that,the text translated into the 24 official languages of the EU.On 28 of November,2013 the Association Agreement had to sign at the XVII summit.However,on 21 of November,the government suddenly suspended preparations for the signing of the document,to seek closer economic relations with Russia and announcing that they will join the Russian-led Customs Union(?the Eurasian Union?),thereby signing his own sentence and changing the fate of Ukraine for decades.Chapter 3.The Yanukovych government‘s foreign policy decision-making with regard to the EU Association Agreement – Domestic Pressures In Favor of Signing the AgreementIn this chapter I‘m going to look not in European pressure,but in domestic pressure to the Yanukovych government to sign the Association Agreement with the EU,which is also very important issue to my research question and hypothesis.According to a poll conducted in October by Gf K Ukraine,the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union support 45% of Ukrainians.5People in Ukraine were discontented with the Yanukovych government.From the beginning of his presidency Ukraine‘s economy was going through difficult times.In Ukrainian people eyes Yanukovych government led the country to the deterioration of the economy,living standards fell sharply,increased corruption and bankruptcy,their country fell in the world rankings even more during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovich,they were upset and outraged government authorized.Over the presidency of Victor Yanukovych,he refused any attempts to restrain deterioration of the economic situation.The major part of the population,which was pro-Europeans,saw the growing deterioration of life in Ukraine over his presidency,they just hope that the government would sign the Association Agreement with the European Union and that Yanukovych government would change reforms according to European standards.The time approached closer to the summit in Vilnius,people were in suspense and expectations signed the Yanukovych government Association with the Europe.The factor that Yanukovych at the same time led negotiated with the Russian Federation,it alarmed the people,they were afraid that at the last moment Yanukovych could turn towards Russia and Ukraine will join the Customs Union,that would broke their dream for a happy life in Europe,and it‘s happened.In November 2013 Yanukovych government didn‘t sign the AA with EU that a result led to a big Ukrainian Revolution 2013-2014.Pressure from the Ukrainian peoples to the government was really so strong that is why this revolution ended that Viktor Yanukovych could not stand the pressure from the people and fled to Russia,leaving behind his wealth and riches in Mezhyhirya,stolen the money of the country.This once again proves that there was a corruption in the government and that Yanukovych had Pro-Russian roots,a close relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation.The Ukrainian people won fake power and overthrew Yanukovych out of the country.Chapter4.Why did Yanukovuch and his associates have personal reasons to be concerned about moving closer to the EU?The main goal of the economic policy of the Yanukovych regime was to transfer financial resources and companies into the possessionof the ?Yanukovych family-a group of young businessmen that quickly bought up private and state companies for next to nothing.To give an idea of the extent of the embezzlement,cash flows out of Ukraine since 2010 are estimated by the Prosecutor General‘s office to amount to nearly $100 billion.Most likely,that Yanukovych played a game which can call ?who will give more?,while trying to cheat all and thinking only about his personal interest,accumulated gargantuan resources via corruption schemes,destroyed the court system,encroached thoroughly on civil liberties and violated human rights.Chapter 5.The Yanukovych government‘s foreign policy decision-making with regard to the EU Association Agreement – the Role of RussiaIn this Chapter I‘m going to talk about the last part of my hypothesis,which is one the most important.The Russian factor has always impacted EU-Ukraine relations.During the presidency of Yanukovych,the Russian factor has become more and more strong,and it was an important impediment for Ukraine‘s EU integration and for the EU‘s policy.When Russia understood that Ukraine really wants to sign the Association Agreement with the EU,forced Moscow to intensify its action,to demonstrate the seriousness of their intentions.Only one week after the negotiations about DCFTA [Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area] between the EU and Ukraine,Russia pursues project of a Customs Union with post-Soviet countries,such as Belarus,Kazakhstan,wants Ukraine to join.Ukraine resisted Russia‘s control over its energy transportation system and ?Naftogaz?.Russia was not going decrease the price of gas for Ukraine.Several months before the EP summit,in particular,Russia increased political and economic pressure on Ukraine.In summer 2013,Russia used stricter customs regulation and made a more pressure,which led to a stop of exports of Ukrainian products to Russia for several days?,in that way Russia wanted demonstrate that Ukraine is vulnerability,causing huge losses for the Ukrainian exporters.Russia made a big pressure for Ukraine.Russian government didn‘t want Ukraine join the European Union.That is why they increase the price of gas,stopped export Ukrainian products and made a big pressure for Victor Yabukovuch,as the result Yanukovych didn‘t have choice and didn‘t sign the Association Agreement with the EU.ConclusionWhen Victor Yanukovych came to power in 2010 he led a Pro-European policy and was going to sign this Association Agreement with Europe and the last moment handed back.He faced domestic pressure,Euromaidan as the evident of this,pressure from Europe,in case of Tumoshenko and also insists that the Ukrainian government will strengthen democratic norms and ensure the rule of law,problems with political factions,corruption,stagnation and suspension of necessary reforms.And also it was a big pressure to the Ukraine economy from Russia.Yanukovych try to balance between the EU and Russia,between Free Trade Area and Custom Union,but he played a game ?who will give more?.But Yanukovych understood that Ukraine cannot simultaneously be a member of the Customs Union and to join the free trade agreement with the EU.During his presidency,Ukraine‘s economy was going through difficult times,democracy has fallen,the standard of living has become much worse,and the country was on the level of bankruptcy.When Yanukovych fled the country,evidence of corruption and self-enrichment were found in Mezhyhirya,the residence of the President.Yanukovych could not resist all the pressure as a result of not signing the Association Agreement with the EU and turned toward Russia and eventually fled the country.
Keywords/Search Tags:Ukraine, European Union, Russia, regime survival, foreign policy analysis, good governance, economic cooperation, 2013-2014 crisis in Ukraine
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