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Title: Changing relations : Russia's relations with Ukraine and Belarus
Author: McMahon, Margery A.
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2000
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In the period of transition which followed the collapse of the USSR, the states of that region were forced to make many political and economic adjustments. A crucial part of the processes was the restructuring of relations among these formerly fraternal republics and as they became in 1991, independent states. For most states structuring relations with Russian became a priority since it is the largest and most dominant regional actor. Such relations are shaped by a number of factors including historical development, economic legacies and geopolitical concerns. These issues have impacted upon the evolving relationship between Russia and its Slav neighbours, Ukraine and Belarus. Drawing on a common background in terms of historical political, economic and cultural development, Russia's relations with these states developed to the point where they were formalized in a Russian Belarusian Community (1996) and a Russian Ukrainian Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (1997). The impetus for Russia to renegotiate its relations with the states on its western borders was strengthened by the proposed eastward expansion of NATO. Belarus and Ukraine however benefited from this. Belarus was guaranteed cheap supplies of Russian natural resources, vital for its economy, even if this came at the cost of ceding a degree of sovereignty. Ukraine, still excluded from European political and economic organizations was recognized by Russia as an independent state with significant regional influence. Russia secured a buffer zone on its western borders. Russia's relations with Ukraine and Belarus are now qualitatively different. Ukraine has emerged as a potential ally and even future rival to Russia while Belarus has opted to become a Russian client state with, it appears, the ultimate goal of union with Russia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JZ International relations ; DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics