“Economic Constraint and Ukraine’s Security Policy”
By Dominic Fean
Since winning the 2010 presidential elections in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych has worked hard to repairKyiv’s relationship with Moscow. Early in his tenure, Yanukovych signed a package of treaties which appeared to exchange a reduction in the price of gas for Ukraine for the extension of the Russian lease on a naval base in Ukraine’s Crimea, he also abandonned pursuit of NATO membership for Ukraine. While this could be taken as a sign that in security issues Ukraine is returning to the Russian fold, this paper examines the motivations for this move as well as the history of military reform in the country to find that economic interests rather than ideological issues have motivated decision making in this area. Nevertheless, this orientation has strategic implications which are likely to last.