History: An Analysis of the Former Soviet Union Foreign Policy: Russian and Ukrainian Experience.
The foreign policy of the FSU has been quiet challenging considering its distinct nature of being composed of states whose very existence was either unknown or unacknowledged during the cold war, but have had to deal with the domestic political flux or with the legacy left by a discredited regime. This paper attempts an appraisal of the FSU’s foreign policy using Russia and Ukraine as case studies. The international context which Russia and Ukraine have confronted in view of the gravity of change, combined with the unique circumstances of their emergence through a process of the soviet state collapse, has involved them in the development of a uniquely new regional system of international relations. Gorbachev’s cooperation with the west did not only lay an auspicious grounds for Russia and Ukraine’s foreign policy, but reflected a decline in the soviet unions superpower status.
This has affected Russia’s own actual and perceived standing in world politics due to its declared status as a ‘continuing state’. Ukraine; on the other hand, formally broke with a centuries long experience of subjugation to Russia. This divorce has been a defining factor
in its foreign policy debate. Consequently, their policy has tended to be dictated more by circumstance, and constraints than by a clear sense of vision or purpose. Russia and Ukraine have been less the shapers of the post cold war international system than have been shaped by it.