Hanna Smith
hanna.smith [at] helsinki.fi

Tuomas Forsberg
tuomas.forsberg [at] helsinki.fi

Conference secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Ville Tuppurainen
ville.tuppurainen [at] helsinki.fi

Concerence e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)9-191 23642
fax +358-(0)9-191 23615

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Gretskiy, Igor

Russia’s Foreign Policy Towards Ukraine in the Aftermath of the Orange Revolution

The 2004 Ukraine’s Orange Revolution has had a major impact not only on the evolution of Ukraine’s civil society, but it also dramatically reshaped international relations across the Post-Soviet area. Its consequences affected Russian-Ukrainian relations, as well. In this article, we will focus on how Ukraine’s Orange Revolution changed Russia’s foreign policy towards Ukraine. Before the year of 2004, Russia’s foreign policy towards Ukraine was based on several fundamental principles. First, Ukraine was regarded as a significant part of the Post-Soviet area, which was traditionally regarded as an exclusive sphere of Russia’s influence. Second, due to the fact that Ukraine’s industry was heavily dependent on natural gas imports, it had no alternative to Russia as a major supplier of natural sources. Third, Russia had always broadly supported pro-Russian politicians and political parties in Ukraine. And Ukraine’s 2004 presidential campaign constitutes no exception to it, as Kremlin explicitly supported Viktor Yanukovich. Nevertheless, the Orange Revolution brought to power new political leaders, as Russia’s involvement in Ukraine’s 2004 presidential campaign in Ukraine resulted in a foreign policy defeat and image losses. It has also aggravated the atmosphere of Russian-Ukrainian relations and the quality of top-level political dialogue. Simultaneously, it had significant implications for Russia’s foreign policy agenda towards Ukraine, as well as for its instruments and mechanisms. Those changes are analyzed in the paper to be presented at the Aleksanteri Conference.