On the brink: Viktor Yanukovych's decisions and the Ukrainian retreat from Europe Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Ferral, Katelyn Leigh
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This thesis examines and explains the decision-making process and reasons behind former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's rejection of an Association Agreement with the European Union, more than four years in the making. Yanukovych was pressured by Russia both politically and economically to turn away from Europe and instead grow closer to the Kremlin. Ukraine's desperate economy on the verge of bankruptcy, and Yanukovch's political ties to Russia made him more vulnerable to blackmail. To help explain why Yanukovych spurned the deal, which ultimately led to mass protests and his ousting in 2013, this thesis draws upon interviews, government and academic research reports and news articles. The EU's structural and institutional weakness in its foreign policy towards its Eastern neighbors also hindered its ability to gain a geopolitical edge in incentivizing Ukraine to modernize and reform, and ultimately get on an on-ramp to closer ties with the Western world.
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  • In Copyright
  • Vachudová, Milada Anna
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2014

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