Dr. Mykola Kapitonenko is an Associate Professor at the Institute of International Relations of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine; and Executive Director of the Centre for International Studies (CIS).
A strategic choice between NATO membership and closer cooperation with Russia is at the heart of Ukrainian foreign policy. Locked within this dilemma, Ukraine often misses out other important foreign policy variables. Most importantly, the framework for strategic choice is shifting, with potential risks and benefits changing significantly. Moreover, Ukrainian decision-makers often believe that the right choice between East and West will be enough to settle Ukrainian security. This article puts forward the hypothesis that the context of this choice is more important, namely, that structural factors and additional regional arrangements are crucial to both national and regional security.
Keywords: Ukrainian foreign policy, NATO, geopolitical choice, regional security, Russian regional influence
Few dilemmas in Ukrainian foreign policy attract more attention and public debate than a strategic choice between NATO and Russia as a key security partner.
Once labeled by Samuel Huntington a “deeply divided state,” Ukraine is paying a constantly increasing price for strategic uncertainty. Curiously, opposite to Huntington’s predictions, division lines are not following civilizational differences. Instead, they have recently become frontlines between public opinion and foreign policy decision-makers, on the one hand, and among various political parties on the other. As a result, Ukraine’s former advantageous status of being one of the most strategically important post-socialist states is turning into a source of structural weakness and security threats.
This has serious implications for both internal and external political outcomes. Internally, the dilemma is being turned into a tool for radicalizing Ukrainian society and propaganda.
Externally, Ukraine’s continued hesitation results in severe damage to national security, the multiplication of risks, and the deterioration of the regional security system as a whole.
Ukraine in NATO would mean that security in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in the Black Sea region would continue to be rooted in democratic and liberal principles, and follows collective decision-making procedures and power-sharing techniques. Ukraine outside NATO would result in a more “balance of power” prone version of regional stability and recurrence of the spheres of influence in one way or the other.
A consensus among European states was reached at the end of the Cold War: to prevent the resurrection of the old ways of thinking about European security. Europe, the main arena of the Cold War rivalry, suffered a lot from division lines and spheres of influence. Thus, Europeans’ commitment to innovative ways of providing regional security was the key driving force behind several waves of NATO and EU enlargements. To a large extent, this commitment also provided strong incentives for Eastern and Central European nations to join both Western institutions.
It may seem that during 2004-08 Ukraine lost its best chance to gain NATO membership and integrate into a Euro-Atlantic security system. These years were marked by a unique conjunction of a pro-Western President in Ukraine and a pro-Ukrainian President in the US. With Victor Yushchenko’s influence declining and his chances for re-election vanishing, pro-Western foreign policy in Ukraine is no longer politically relevant. On the other hand, Barack Obama’s foreign policy rather seems to take into account Russia’s concerns and, in this context, it is somewhat less pro–Ukrainian. In other words, the United States is unlikely to insist on Ukrainian NATO membership anymore; while Ukraine is unlikely to actively seek it.
Today’s resurrection of the dilemma on the eve of presidential elections in Ukraine is marked by two important factors, none of which seems to be fully realized by the parties in the debate. First, the NATO, Ukraine was long attempting to join, no longer exists. And second, Ukraine, as a key guarantor of regional security, is absent. The combination of these creates a totally different framework for strategic choice, compared to the one Ukrainians were used to for almost twenty years.
This article assesses two hypotheses: first, that Ukrainian security is best assured when a multipolar regional system is installed and international regimes and organizations are effective; and second, that Ukraine’s choice between East and West is not enough to secure either national or regional security. The historical record of Ukrainian foreign policy will be reviewed, with special emphasis upon recurring strategic dilemmas.
Theoretical Background of Ukrainian Foreign Policy Dilemmas
Ukraine is a powerful regional state, but at the same time it is weak when compared to larger neighbors and organizations (Russia, the EU, and NATO). This combination creates serious implications for national and regional security and determines Ukrainian foreign policy.
For Ukraine, being powerful means possessing considerable military capabilities, huge military production, in particular in highly technological sectors, and having a large population. All these are elements of “hard” power. Around fifty years ago, this could serve a reliable guarantee of the country’s security. However, today’s realities are different. The continent is interlinked through transnational relations of various kinds. The societies and states are highly interdependent. This makes military capabilities obsolete for resolving most of the foreign policy issues. Instead, an access to decision-making, normative, and “soft” power are becoming more effective. Herein lies the first strategic disadvantage of Ukraine: its foreign policy efforts were mostly dedicated to resolving numerous security dilemmas by applying a realistic approach – that is, by building up its military and searching for allies.
Ukraine’s second strategic setback is that no matter how powerful it is, the surrounding neighbors – Russia, the EU and NATO – are far more powerful. As a result, Ukraine is constantly involved into asymmetric relations. Thus, a key to Ukrainian security lies in a critical reassessment of the realistic foundations of her foreign policy and adhering to a more neoliberal approach. Special emphasis should be placed on the concepts of interdependence, international regimes and asymmetric relations.
Interdependence is the most general of them. According to Nye and Keohane, transnational relations and interdependencies among states and societies are increasing, while the usefulness of military force and balance of power politics is decreasing. For Ukraine that would mean that managing complex interdependence is a priority higher than that of building up military alliances. However, successful management of interdependence is unlikely to be achieved either with NATO or through closer relations with Russia. The EU looks more promising in this regard, although remains a much more distant perspective for Ukraine.
The European integration process generally follows neofunctionalist explanations, with its special emphasis on spillover effects. It implies that integration is a slow step-by-step process, for which the participants must have a high degree of interdependence. Ukraine and the EU are not interdependent enough. Ukraine’s inability to introduce European standards of legislation, a lack of development of civil society, and insufficient economic ties with the EU decrease its chances of becoming an EU member in a mid-term perspective.
Interdependencies are effectively managed through international regimes. Regimes help ameliorate incentives to break long-term cooperation for the sake of short-term individual gains. They take various forms, most commonly those of international organizations and multilateral agreements. Regimes are effective since they imply Pareto optimality solution for all parties involved. The logic of international regimes, and not that of anarchic competition, reigns in relations of interdependence. Ukraine lacks normative and institutional power and continues to excessively rely on hard power capabilities. This is especially dangerous under conditions of asymmetry.
The most vital external relations of Ukraine are asymmetric. And in each pair, Ukraine is a weak partner, be it with Russia, the EU or NATO. Effective management of asymmetric relations by a weak partner requires its active involvement in various forms of multilateral international cooperation (better if a stronger partner takes part as well) and avoidance of linkages among issues in various fields. None of this is effectively applied by Ukraine in its relations with either Russia or the EU and NATO.
As a result, Ukrainian foreign policy lacks conceptual support. Even the meanings attributed to security, strategy and power are somewhat narrow and out of date. A realistic approach, which is the result of this, is unable to address the numerous challenges to security. Thus, approaching the dilemma of East–West choice, one should keep in mind key neoliberal assumptions: growing interdependence, the importance of non-state actors, and the absence of a hierarchy of issues in world politics.
Transformations of NATO
When Ukraine first encountered a strategic choice between East and West, NATO was at the height of its triumph. The Cold War was overwhelmingly won, and the Warsaw Pact dissolved. The former adversaries lined up to join the winners. All this was achieved with no direct military casualties.
The other side of the medal was Russia’s weakness. The former superpower was quickly deteriorating. The sphere of influence, agreed upon in Yalta, was gone. Economic collapse and social unrest threatened territorial integrity of the state.
In the 1990s, Europe entered into an era of liberal optimism. A weakened Russia adopted a pro–Western foreign policy, which, along with internal developments, allowed more NATO-centered approach to the regional security concerns. A developing common European identity and institutions for foreign policy seemed to be rather complimenting than competing with NATO. The alliance’s response to a growing security demand in “new” Europe resulted in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program in 1994.
Ukraine was the first former Soviet republic to join the PfP. Driven by the need for more security after abandoning its nuclear weapons, Ukraine was searching for a reliable framework with which to pursue its newly formulated national interests. At that time, NATO seemed the only long-term option, although public opinion was split on the issue ever since. In 1997, when the Charter on a Distinctive Partnership was signed to lay down a long-term framework for Ukrainian-NATO relations, thirty-seven percent of Ukrainians supported joining NATO, with twenty-eight percent opposing and thirty-four percent undecided. The only realistic alternative to NATO membership in the 1990s was neutrality.
In a way, this was a reformulation of the East–West choice. However, choosing “East” was equal to keeping a neutral status. Weakened and pro–Western Russia was unable to project its influence in such a way as to construct a sphere of influence. A Russian “veto” for NATO enlargement was the highest possible form of “Eastern” pressure. That was a weak “veto,” since, while opposing to NATO enlargement, Russia did not offer any viable alternative of a regional security framework. As a result, most countries in the region opted to join NATO. Strategic, political and technological benefits were obvious, while risks seemed vague and distant. Ukraine had the same matrix of payoffs at hand. The Charter of 1997 indicated that the strategy of joining NATO was approved. The only way Russia was able to influence these developments was by influencing certain groups within the Ukrainian political elite.
Four years of non-decision on this issue (1994-97), however, turned out to be decisive. Already in 1998 both Russian foreign policy strategy and NATO’s role in Europe started to change rapidly. Key points of these changes included the conflict over Kosovo, the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent campaign in Afghanistan. These events marked a sharp change of both NATO’s functions in providing regional and global security and the perception of the alliance in the world, including that of public opinion.
The campaign in the former Yugoslavia was crucial for launching a new Alliance’s Strategic concept in 1999. This document put forward a “broad approach to security,” enhancing it both in non-military spheres and outside territories of the member-states. Much emphasis was placed on preventive measures and new types of threats. NATO was no longer committed to its 1991 Strategic concept and for numerous reasons could be regarded as a different security provider than before.
These developments shuffled the payoffs matrix for both Ukraine and NATO member-states. Suddenly, the latter were confronting not a militarily weak Russia but a wide range of challenges, partly asymmetrical, and they had to get ready for a wide range of missions outside their homelands. For potential members it meant reassessment of their strategic commitments and readiness to contribute more to enhancing global security. Introduction of international terrorism as an agenda-setting threat reinforced this trend after 2001. Ukraine, on the other hand, had to be ready to cooperate more closely with the alliance in its broadened sphere of responsibility. It is worth mentioning that Ukraine did its best, being the only non-member to take part in all NATO peacekeeping missions.
Another correction to strategic calculations for Ukraine was introduced with a changed Russian stance on NATO in particular and her relations with the West as a whole. This shift had numerous reasons, which are far outside the focus of this paper. Begun in 1998-99 as a reaction to NATO’s campaign in Kosovo, it was quickly institutionalized after Vladimir Putin rose to power in Russia. A new foreign policy approach was much more aggressive, resolute and no longer pro-Western. That had far-reaching consequences for Russia’s neighbors, especially those remaining outside NATO.
Ukraine was one of them. Suddenly it faced a much more complicated choice than before, having to bear more risks when pursuing a pro-NATO strategy. The Eastern “veto” carried more weight, and soon Russia also institutionalized an alternative for NATO – the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Thereafter, the “Eastern” option for Ukraine meant joining an emerging Russian sphere of influence instead of remaining neutral. At the same time, the whole framework of European politics was becoming more competitive, zero-sum and crisis-prone.
Strategic choice for Ukraine was getting more complicated as the world saw the 9/11 attacks and a subsequent war in Afghanistan. NATO had to address both challenges, and those had transformed its role even further. By declaring a war on international terrorism, NATO was putting additional pressure on both member-states and partners. The war in Afghanistan was far from what recent newcomers to NATO expected. “Common defense” of such a broad meaning was a challenge to NATO’s integrity and a shared system of values. It also sharpened internal debates in many states, and in Ukraine, it resulted in a decrease in public support for joining NATO. As a result, NATO membership costs increased dramatically due to a higher probability of distant risky military operations, a decrease in popular support and the growing opposition of Moscow.
Finally, NATO underwent two other major transformations, both of which are linked to a revived Russian expansionism: first and foremost, was NATO’s reaction to the war in Georgia of 2008. The second is about “resetting” American-Russian relations and is currently underway. As a result, NATO has lost its clear security and geopolitical positioning, as well as parts of its collective identity. The crisis of the Russian-Georgian war turned out to be more severe for NATO than even that of the war in Iraq, partly because this time American foreign policy appeared to be lacking initiative. A “reset” of American-Russian relations could be seen as Obama’s conceptual response to this crisis. This response could demand a high price of a total reconsideration of the alliance’s role in a new framework of “resetting” relations with Russia and a total reconstruction of the security system in Europe toward the balance of power and spheres of influence model; the key elements of which include the principle of self-help in providing state security, limited sovereignty for the majority of small states, zero-sum competition in regional affairs between powerful states, and foreign policy aimed at maintaining a balance of power.
Ukraine in Regional Security Arrangements
For quite a while it has been common wisdom among Ukrainian and foreign scholars that the country’s geographical location is a political advantage, which makes Ukraine a geopolitical key to European security. This followed from a Cold War-style geopolitical analysis, according to which Ukraine was an indispensable part of the Russian empire. Control over Ukraine would be the only possible way for Russia to restore her influence over European affairs and, vice versa; placing Ukraine into a community of Western democracies would be the only way to prevent another Cold War in Europe. This style of reasoning was enhanced by Ukraine’s unilateral decision to abandon its nuclear weapons, the third largest stock in the world. In addition, Ukraine was one of the few post-Soviet states that managed to prevent violent internal conflicts. All this contributed to Ukraine’s image as a possible security-supplying country for the whole turbulent region of Eastern and Central Europe.
This was the primary source of Ukraine’s attractiveness to the West. Integrating Ukraine into Western political institutions was equal to spreading liberal values and democratic norms. That is why so much attention was paid to internal political reforms in post-Soviet states. It was believed that “democratic peace” theory could be a conceptual basis for resolving numerous conflicts within the former post-Socialist bloc. Ukraine was incorporated into the basic institutional structures and programs for transition, sharing a similar experience to that of countries like Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic, and hoping to follow their path.
Arguably, this scenario was most probable in 1994-99. On the one hand, this was the period of the most intensive dialogue with the Western institutions. Ukraine joined the PfP and the Central European Initiative (CEI) in 1994 and entered the Council of Europe in 1995. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Ukraine was signed in 1994 to lay the framework for developing further relations. Gradually, Ukraine was incorporated into key regional and subregional regimes and structures. The process was eased along by a general climate of global cooperation on security issues.
On the other hand, Ukraine and Western democracies needed each other. Ukraine was pursuing internal reforms, aiming toward democratic values and economic development. The support from the Western countries was an important impetus driving the process. Ukraine was opening markets, adopting trade regulations, inviting investments and, on the whole, integrating into the global economy.
The intense dialogue on a number of issues enhanced Ukraine’s role in providing regional security. The country’s democratization was seen as a prerequisite for peace implementation in Eastern Europe. Growing economic interdependence also contributed to stability. Regional organizations, in which Ukraine was an active member, were integrating into a system of international regimes and seemed to be an effective solution to a problem of asymmetric dependency from Russia.
But in 1998-99 things changed. The primary sources of changes were twofold: strategic shifts in Russian foreign policy and an authoritarian trend in Ukrainian internal affairs. The combination of this was enough to put an end to Ukrainian aspirations of a quick integration into Western institutions. On the one hand, Russia effectively increased the political costs of pursuing pro-Western policy for Ukrainian elites. On the other hand, Ukraine cast serious doubts about its democratic developments due to the policy of re-elected President Leonid Kuchma. In 2000, Kuchma was accused by parliamentary opposition of being involved in the murder of Georgiy Gongadze, a well-known journalist. That produced enormous and unbearable costs for the whole Western dimension of Ukrainian foreign policy.
Other developments were also important for changing Ukraine’s geostrategic environment. Continued NATO and EU enlargement had a strong impact on regional security. First and foremost, it filled a “vacuum of power” in Central and Eastern Europe and provoked a more hostile Russian reaction. The conflict in Kosovo also opened up a period of political instability in the region. Special emphasis in this regard should be placed on the so-called “frozen conflicts” in the former Soviet republics, since all of them involved an issue of separatism. Mechanisms for supporting post-bipolar regional stability were becoming non-efficient. As a result, a much more competitive environment was created, while the regional system acquired some distinct features of bipolarity. This was not a very good signal for Ukraine. Under bipolarity of any type, Ukrainian input into a collective security agreement of any kind was doomed to be minimized. Windows of opportunity, opened up when regional integration was flourishing, were closing. The security agenda in Europe was increasingly managed by great powers’ consensus or rivalry.
However, there was a short period of optimism. It followed the so-called “Orange revolution” in Ukraine. President Yushchenko, a winner of the contest due to the mass protests against the fraudulent vote, claimed a pro-Western foreign policy and initially gained considerable support from Western democracies. Ukraine got a chance to play a more active role in regional security. First of all, the “Orange revolution” created preconditions for enhancing various international organizations and regimes in the region, which aimed to support the democratization process and deal with the frozen conflicts. Second, it put additional pressure on European decision-makers to provide more openness toward Ukraine, particularly in trans-border movement, immigration, and political cooperation. The revolution also attracted US attention, since it provided an opportunity for popularizing and exploiting the pacifying impacts of democratization.
As a result, a number of regional projects emerged and were activated. However, most of these opportunities for broader power alignments in Europe were lost due to the ineffectiveness of regional organizations and a quick restoration of Russia’s regional influence. The former was the result of low levels of interdependence among the countries of the region, lack of a shared identity and differences in assessing strategic risks and ways of dealing with them. The latter was primarily the consequence of Russia’s ability to derive maximum opportunities from (i) its own economic power due to high prices for oil and natural gas; (ii) the ineffectiveness of regional organizations in dealing with frozen conflicts, which became a tool for Russia to apply its power on a regional scale; and (iii) a continuing crisis of American foreign policy that created a vacuum of power in what is considered by Russians to be their historical sphere of interest. As a result, by 2008, Central and Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region were back to bipolarity and zero-sum games.
That significantly reduced Ukraine’s structural force and enabled a general destabilization, in which the Russian-Georgian war of 2008 played a role. This war undermined regional stability patterns based on cooperation among smaller states, put an end to multilateral diplomacy aimed at resolving “frozen conflicts,” and weakened Ukraine’s ally. Under new circumstances, Ukraine was no longer able to provide security for the region. Instead, it turned into security consumer, and a potentially risky one.
Russia’s possible attempts to take advantage of ethnic diversity in Ukraine are believed to impose certain risks. Predominantly Russian-speaking eastern regions could be a starting point for Russia’s pressure. Moreover, the Crimean autonomous republic in Ukraine has long been a region of special attention and a special status. The Russian Black Sea Fleet, based in Sevastopol, is a powerful instrument in bilateral relations and the overall regional constellation of forces.
However, these risks seem to be exaggerated. Ukraine is truly vulnerable to ethnic pressure, but its vulnerability lies more in the fields of internal security, social and cultural integrity, and efficiency of a power-sharing model. Unlike cases of Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia or South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia, Ukrainian regions have never demonstrated signs of separatism. Consequently, no ethnic group in Ukraine suffered any form of discrimination. This makes the most dangerous forms of current internal conflicts capable of quick escalation improbable in Ukraine.
At the same time, growing tensions in relations with Russia turn ethnic and linguistic factors into possible areas of conflict. Having this in mind, Ukraine can balance its vulnerability by improving an existing model of power-sharing, further protecting minority rights (and requiring the same steps from its neighbors) and integrating deeper into international regimes. Unless there is a sharp growth of separatism within Ukraine, these measures will help minimize risks from any external pressure.
Due to Ukraine’s turning into a security-consuming state, the strategic situation changed dramatically. Instead of operating under multipolarity and within active regional regimes, Ukraine finds itself in recurrent bipolar rivalries. This not only undermines Ukraine’s abilities to effectively manage interdependence and asymmetry, but also reshapes regional security arrangements. As a result, an old dilemma of choosing between East and West is taking on new dimensions today.
Conclusion: Current Strategic Choices and Pre-Election Hesitation
With the upcoming presidential campaigns, Ukraine is facing serious security challenges. Its most important interests – regional security, effective resolution of the frozen conflicts, Black Sea regional cooperation development – are under threat. The former priorities, such as regional initiatives, NATO membership aspirations and European energy security, are put into question. Foreign policy strategy aimed at enhancing regional international regimes to counter stronger neighbors has failed. As a result, Ukraine will experience growing difficulties in pursuing the “multivectoral” strategy and faces the increasing risks of a growing asymmetry in relations with key partners.
Restoration of bipolarity turns out to be the worst possible scenario. It limits the options for counterbalancing the great powers’ egoistic aspirations and leaves insufficient tools for Ukraine to pursue her security interests. Unfortunately, there is little Ukraine can do about that. Emerging structures of regional politics are out of Ukrainian control, and its only attempt to prevent bipolarity by enhancing regional cooperation was not enough. As a result, Russia’s growing power cannot be effectively sustained by a network of regional regimes. The only option left is counterbalancing and deterrence, and herein lies the key argument for Ukraine’s NATO membership today.
This option is still believed by many to be a matter of civilizational choice. However, it has become a much more practical task in terms of security maximization. Even if NATO were a group of non-democratic states, Ukraine would want to join it for the sake of counterbalancing Russia. Ukraine is pushed toward seeking NATO membership by the very logic of bipolarity and the zero-sum game it offers. NATO membership in this context is the next best choice after enhancing regional multipolarity.
NATO’s opponents in Ukraine mostly offer neutrality as an alternative. However, this status does not stand up to expectations. First and foremost, the problem with neutrality is that it is an out-of-date concept. Neutral status could be a solution for Ukraine under conditions of strong regional cooperation, stable and operational international regimes, and Russia’s participation in most important regional initiatives, such as the Energy Charter. When none of this is the case, neutrality then becomes a dangerous option. Neutral states under bipolarity require far more resources to provide their own security. Ukraine simply does not have them.
The strategic option of joining the Russian sphere of influence is open. On the eve of the elections, Ukrainian elites are much more sensitive to Russian than to any other influence, because Russia’s presence in Ukrainian economy, NGO sector and media is overwhelmingly stronger than that of the Western countries. Moreover, Ukrainians are disappointed with the modest results of intensified cooperation with the US and European states. All this strengthens pro-Russian attitudes in the society and makes Ukrainian politicians assume a more pro-Russian approach as well. But that does not make a strategic difference. This option will put an end to the idea of a multipolar regional system and will dramatically diminish Ukraine’s opportunities for providing both national and regional security.
We believe that joining NATO is still the best possible strategic option not only for Ukraine but for the region as well. It will not prevent bipolarity, but it will make it far less antagonistic. Ukraine in NATO will mean that even at the regional level there will be no power parity between key poles, which will enhance cooperative strategies and prevent risky foreign policies. Finally, NATO’s normative dimension will help integrate Ukraine into a democratic system of values and institutions and thus enhance regional stability.
 Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 165-68.
 See Kurt Campbell, Michael O’Hanlon, Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security (Cambridge: Basic Books, 2006).
 See Joseph Nye, Soft Power. The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2004).
 On interdependence theory, see Joseph Nye and Robert Keohane, Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (Boston: Little Brown, 1977).
 For a guide on European integration theories, see Ben Rosamond, Theories of European Integration (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000).
 Pareto optimality is a general measure of efficiency in strategic interactions. It implies than there is no other outcome to the situation that makes every player at least as well off and at least one player strictly better off. For more details, see Avinash Dixit and Susan Skeath, Games of Strategy (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004), Chapter 12.
 On international regimes, see Stephen D. Krasner (ed.), International Regimes (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983).
 For a short version of the history of Ukraine-NATO relations, see http://www.mil.gov.ua/index.php?lang=en&part=cooperation&sub=history (accessed September 20, 2009).
 Gerald B. H. Solomon, The NATO enlargement debate, 1990-1997, (Westport: Praeger, 1998), 121
 The Alliance’s Strategic Concept, 1999, official text at http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_27433.htm (accessed September 20, 2009
 See Razumkov Centre’s polls for 2002-09 at http://razumkov.org.ua/eng/poll.php?poll_id=46 (accessed September 21, 2009).
 See Jennifer D. P. Moroney et al. (eds.), Ukrainian Foreign and Security Policy.
Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives (New York: Praeger Publications, 2002).
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (New York: Basic Books, 1997).
 See Barnett Rubin & Jack Snyder (eds.), Post-Soviet Political Order (New York: Routledge, 1998).
 See, for instance, The Joint Summit Statement by President of the USA Clinton and President of Ukraine Kuchma, dated November 22, 1994, at http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/offdocs/j941122.htm (accessed September 21, 2009).
 For power vacuum and other power considerations, see Hans Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1973).
 See, for instance, Yuscheko’s address to US Senate at http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2005/April/200504061638281CJsamohT0.3202631.html (accessed September 22, 2009)
 For more details see Mykola Kapitonenko “Resolving Post-Soviet “Frozen Conflicts”: Is Regional Integration Helpful”, Caucasian Review of International Affairs, Vol. 3:1 (2009): 37-44.
 Ukrainian foreign policy since President Kuchma (1994-2005) was labelled as multivectoral insofar as Ukraine was aiming to develop strategic cooperation simultaneously with Russia, the USA, and several major European states, counter-balancing the influence of each of them. For more details, see the Address of the President of Ukraine to the Verkhovna Rada, Uryadovy Kuryer, 23 Februaury, 2000, p.5-12.
 For analysis of this option in Ukrainian, see http://cs.cirs.kiev.ua/uk/news/commentary/92-2009-09-17-08-59-47.html (accessed on September 22, 2009).