MAY WE HAVE THIS DANCE?
Boiled down to its essence, most talk about the future of the relationship between Ukraine and the European Union is based on geography.
Analysts who like to think this way invariably start with the simple observation that Ukraine truly lies between the EU's sphere of interests and Russia's sphere of interests. The essential problem, then, is whose sphere of interest (or, more importantly, whose inner standards) will draw Ukraine in. This kind of thinking denies Ukraine sufficient potency to make a choice for itself.
The case is that none of these realistically-inclined political analysts sees a possibility for Ukraine (my apologies to our patriots) to establish its own, independent path of development.
Such a geopolitical logic looks quite sensible. No doubt, this kind of logic may describe the end of the 19th century. Advanced technologies have, though, connected the world differently, ignoring the factors of geographic proximity or remoteness.
Suddenly it turns out that bordering countries actually have very little in common, and countries without common borders may take a certain interest in each other. Indeed, they may become dependent on each other.
So we see that, in economic terms, the relations between Ukraine and Romania are not as intensive as the contacts between Ukraine and Germany. When the view expands from the economic to the political sphere, the United States is far closer to Ukraine than is Belarus.
Armed with this insight we can return to the key players on the global political arena, now considering not only geographical proximity, but also interconnectivity across the whole world. Ukraine finds itself inside a geopolitical triangle bounded by the United States, Russia, and the European Union.
Not all the players in this trio have equal weight or equal desire and ability to influence the course of the development in Ukraine, and not just because of their different levels of economic and political power and influence. Each of the three is moving in a different direction, has different objectives, and is at a different stage of its historic development.
One's star is rising, and another's is waning. One is already tired of itself, of the outdated paradigm of its development, and another is searching for or has already found a new paradigm that ensures its success in an increasingly dynamic world. Well, since we Ukrainians have gotten ourselves inside this triangle, we have a choice to make.
We cannot avoid this choice, otherwise we will be chosen. If that happens we will be deprived of the freedom to make a choice that comprehends the dynamic situation, and will become an object of somebody else's politics.
We need to try to analyze who we are dealing with and to whom we want and can tie our future.
ANALYSIS: by Taras Voznyak, Editor in Chief I (Yi), a Lviv-based journal of politics, philosophy, and culture
Transitions Online (TOL), Prague, Czech Republic
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