"What caused the U-turn by the leadership of a country of 46 million people that occupies a strategic position between the EU and Russia? Public and private arm-twisting by Putin, including threats to Ukraine'seconomyand Yanukovich's political future, played a significant part. But the unwillingness of the EU and International Monetary Fund to be flexible in their demands of Ukraine also had an effect, making them less attractive partners."
"The crisis unleashed by Yanukovich's rejection of EU overtures in favour of closer ties with former master Moscow has cast fresh light on the intrigue and promiscuous politics of Ukraine's post-Orange Revolution elite; like all good businessmen, oligarchs hedge their bets."
Arch Puddington discusses the growing list of governments that are using the criminal justice system to punish former leaders, including Ukraine which recently sentenced former prime minister Yuliya Tymoshenko.
A deal to extend the stay of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea in exchange for up to $40 billion worth of gas discounts stops Ukraine's drift toward NATO, but political-military integration with Russia is not in the interests of the nation.
This paper from the German Marshall Fund of the United States notes Georgia's better performance compared to Ukraine in two key areas of reform: improving the rule of law and battling corruption. The paper says that Ukraine’s failure to capitalize on the hopes raised by the ‘Orange Revolution’ has been highlighted by the recent Nato summit in Riga, where it became plain that plans to fast track Ukraine’s NATO membership application have been shelved indefinitely.
Ambassador Blackwill and Mr. Simes discuss the stage currently being set for an even more dramatic confrontation between the West and Russia over Ukraine. The authors argue that President Obama must recognize the danger to U.S. national interests that the crisis may create and act accordingly.
In Ukraine, the United States seeks an outcome that may not be achievable; in Gaza, U.S. policy needs to transcend the immediate crisis and recast the basic dynamics of the conflict. Finding out whether these crises have seeds of opportunity within them is the purpose of foreign policy, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
In showing leadership on Ukraine, however, the president may be focusing on the wrong issue—on getting an honest investigation of the Malaysian Airlines crash rather than on the broader question of Russia's ongoing attempt to dismember a neighboring state.
Stephen Biddle and Ivan Oelrich argue that accurately defending airspace is more complex than having the right equipment; it requires a well-functioning organization, something the Ukrainian separatists lack.
Writing in USA Today, Janine Davidson assesses the global impact of the MH17 tragedy. She argues that, in order to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, the United States must take a harder line against Russia. This will entail a mix of NATO response, economic sanctions, and international pressure.
Reflecting on a speech by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Janine Davidson considers the most effective steps to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from further aggressive acts against Ukraine. She concludes that there are concrete military options that can deter without provoking—and these are the ones NATO should follow.
In Project Syndicate, Richard Haass writes: "The strategy needed to resist Putin's efforts to expand Russia's influence beyond its borders – and to induce change within them – resembles nothing so much as the 'containment' doctrine that guided Western policy for the four decades of the Cold War."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »