Indeed, there has always been disagreement regarding the way of Ukrainian development, the values that should be esteemed, and the views on closer contacts with different countries. Such contradictions are the consequences of the historical development which considered Ukraine as the country which was divided. West Ukraine has always been tied to Europe to a bigger degree than the Eastern part of it. On the opposite, East Ukraine has always been tied to Russia more than Europe. A lot can be said about the evolution of Ukraine before 1991, but in the end, we got an independent country with its own culture, language, values, and mentality.
The situation is that after 1950, the world has started its development in a very fast manner. It included the progress in technics, economics, international relations, and law, trading, etc. According to Charles Doran from Johns Hopkins University, globalization is “the interaction of information technology and the global economy. It is indexed in terms of the intensity, scope, volume and value of international transactions in the international, financial, commercial, trade and administrative spheres worldwide. A sharp increase in the rate of these transactions in the last decade, and, therefore, in their level, is the most measurable manifestation of the process of globalization”.
Nowadays, no country can exist without interactions and connection to other states and cultures. As one can see, most Ukrainians respect and aspire to European values of democracy like political and civil rights, freedoms of speech, entrepreneurship, worship, etc. Thus, it can be said that the current situation in Ukraine relates to globalization processes and it affects the role of Ukraine on the global stage. It has a very attractive position with access to the Black Sea and is placed between Russia and West Europe which makes it worth of cooperating with. Globalization means cooperation not only with Russia or only with Europe. It is about interacting with the whole world. Another aspect is that the country had to choose the appropriate way for itself but it never suspected to stop working with any of the sides.
Ukraine had been on its crossroad between two models of development. Both ways can be analyzed and compared. The accession to the EU is expected to help Ukraine become a part of civilized Europe and part of the West. This desire to be a part of the globalization trend spreads around the world. It is not only about Ukraine. Nevertheless, the establishment of a special relationship with Russia can also assist Ukraine. These relations can help in the development of its natural resources, broaden beneficial ties in oil-gas relations, etc. One of the globalization effects is the destruction of self-identity and ethnic specifics of the country. Cooperation and ties with Russia would help in saving the ethnicity of Ukrainians.
This way, relationships between Russia and Ukraine may experience a lot of methodical transactions, as this country is close to Ukrainians for its equal mentality. Ukrainians and Russians could take a lot of useful things from each other. This is a part of the globalization which is aimed for country perfection. Ukraine may take a strategy of taking the best from Russian culture and economics and moreover, broaden its trade expansion on Slovakia, Moldova, Russia itself. Moreover, closer cooperation could improve the everlasting antagonistic relations between Poland and Russia. In my opinion, it is possible to do it with the help of Ukraine. Ukrainians have always been in the middle of their conflicts, thus, it would be worth trying. It is an important part of considering the question of Ukraine’s orientation. It can be better with strong neighbors not only to improve their economic situation but also regarding security issues. As a conclusion, Ukraine can meet its objectives, as part of globalization, when getting closer to Russia. And still, one must assume that globalization is not about exclusively working with the West, NATO, or Russia. Globalization logically leads countries to a certain degree of regionalism. In the case with Ukraine, I found it difficult to rebuild every region of it into a separate self-supporting part. This country has always been unified, it never tried this option. It is more suitable for the states that are multinational and include a lot of different folks.
Lately, there can be seen the third way for Ukraine that considers its applying to NATO countries. Such a way arose due to the Russian troops indwelling in the Crimea. Such a model can also be considered as the way for Ukrainian development in military and national security orientation. Economically, Ukraine can be independent until it is ready to sign the Association with the EU without prominent hurdles. For example, Norway is a NATO member that had never joined the European Union. This model can be a good example for Ukraine. Ukraine and NATO: third-way Questions of Ukrainian relations with Russia and NATO are expanding. It is beyond the scope of the relations between Ukraine and Western Europe. As NATO becomes one of the foundations of the future system of European security, these relationships are important for all the stakeholders. Over the last few years, Ukrainian politicians were inclined to consider NATO as a guarantor of security and stability in Europe and as the basic structure of the future system of European security, and, consequently, to work closely with this structure. Ukrainian concept of the European security architecture attached special importance to NATO. Ukraine became the first country to sign the partnership for peace (PfP) program. As a participant of the “Partnership for Peace” program, it signed an agreement on cooperation with NATO, which goes beyond the normal PfP.
Nowadays, the Ukrainian leadership feels that the task of ensuring the security of their country already evolved into a relatively narrow framework of the PfP program and is committed to the development of NATO-Ukrainian cooperation beyond PfP.
The issue is that Ukraine’s readiness to establish close cooperation with NATO is going hand in hand with its position on the issue of NATO opening to West Europe. The Ukrainian leadership and initial reservations about possible NATO expansion were not based on any perception of their country being threatened. NATO was not considered a potential threat for Ukraine. Rather, these reservations result in fears constellation arising which may have negative consequences for Ukraine. NATO’s commitment to expanding to the East has raised new dilemmas for Ukraine, where many officials feared that at the beginning of the NATO enlargement to the East, Central Europe would leave Kyiv more vulnerable to Russian pressure and the country could find itself pinned between the two blocs. Ukraine would have preferred “evolutionary” NATO expansion to the East and soft integration of Central European States into NATO. Recently, however, on the Ukrainian decision-makers, there is a possibility of gradual normalization of relations between NATO and Ukraine’s position and revision of Ukraine’s non-block status. One of the most important shifts in the Ukrainian security concept consists of reconsideration of Ukraine’s non-block status corresponds to the close cooperation with NATO. Rapprochement with NATO is now regarded as a key component of the strategy of Ukraine to join European and Euro-Atlantic economic, political and security structures.
Even the possibility of Ukraine’s membership in NATO in the future is currently under consideration by some politicians, as desirable as it will facilitate the process.
In a geographical and political sense, Ukraine is located between the two opposite powers. Paradoxically, it is both strong and weak points of Ukraine’s geostrategic position. On the one hand, Ukraine is necessary for European stability. On the other hand, this position makes Ukraine vulnerable in terms of security. In order to solve security problems, Ukraine needs the support of and interacting with the international community. Firstly, European institutions are needed to ensure these security problems. My opinion is that the country should develop its relations with the European Union.
In any case, the West still must be able to help Ukraine with national security with the help of solving its own “Ukrainian question.” It must formulate a new comprehensive policy towards Ukraine. During the years of the real Ukrainian independence, it has managed to develop a real risk factor for the European security and the European security asset.
It has been a trend of recent years in the West about the increased emphasis on the strengthening of security.
77 “Partnership for Peace” agreements on cooperation with the European Union gave Ukraine a good position in the West. There are many questions to be solved about how and where Ukraine fits into the broader framework of security in Europe. Exact role and position of Ukraine in the European system remain to be determined. As a result of this cooperation, Ukraine could gain better standards and level of life. As one can see, the Russian model of development is not as effective as the European one, it is obvious. Ukraine still considers that it is difficult to convey clear what role it gets for them in Europe. Ideally, Ukraine should prefer to develop balanced relations and get same extent and significance of Russia and the West.
Nevertheless, Ukraine, even by the hands of cooperation aspirations in the sphere of security, economics, politics with Russia, it could not meet the Russian expectations. It is one of Ukraine’s fundamental dilemmas in its foreign and security policy. However, Ukraine’s interest is to play an important role in international institutions and conflict resolution in Europe as well as the development of economic ties, promoting economic restructuring and revival of the country.
Kyiv values close links with European institutions in both economic and political reasons. Assistance for Ukraine in the period of transition and political reform and stronger cooperation between the European Union and the Western European Union should form the main part of the Western strategy.
However, the future of Ukraine’s relations with its Western neighbors fully depends on its ability to perform a raw of political and economic reforms. It is much to be done in Ukraine to come to European standards.
These reforms are needed as in Ukraine foreign policy finds a growing mismatch with the growth of political problems. A growing number of government crises, conflicts between the executive and legislative authorities, and the inability of the leadership to conduct deep economic reforms have led to the need for renewing and rebuilding its system. Reforms are to make Ukraine a more attractive economic and political partner.
Anyway, the times of Ukraine’s ancestor – Kievan Rus give us evidence of its direct closeness with Europe. At those times, Latin influences and the Greek influences were big. It may be that, depending on the historical period, the Ukrainian lands were part of the various cultural layers and of different circumstances. Nevertheless, it is a fact that during the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ukrainian people were treated better than in times of the Russian Empire.
The fact of Moskvich-Mongolian severity tool place at the XIII century and determined its development in a rather contradictive way. Therefore, the majority of Ukrainian lands were included in the Commonwealth and Ukrainian economic, spiritual, and political elite has brought visible and quick colonization. Thus, the aspirations of Ukrainian people to the European model of life are not a new one. Civilizational development of Ukraine started to incline to the Western model.