Ukraine has both a convenient and unfortunate location on the border of Europe and along the Black Sea just across from Turkey, one of the most important states in the Middle East. It also shares a long border with Russia, a country that has dominated Ukraine's internal politics for hundreds of years. Since independence Ukraine has attempted to diversify its international relations as much as possible and to seek support for its territorial integrity. In the long run, it sees its political and economic future with NATO and the EU. Meanwhile, the Middle East offers potential partners who could mitigate somewhat pressure from Russia. Ukraine has tried to develop mutually beneficial relations there, but they have not yet met expectations. Given Ukraine's strong historical and cultural connections with Turkey and Israel, relations with these countries appear to be the best developed politically and economically and the most likely to expand, although both states also have to consider the impact of their relations with Ukraine in the context of their relations with Russia. Geographical location does have its limitations, but it may also offer promise. Necessary domestic reform, encouraged and promoted by the West, and careful diplomacy will determine whether Ukraine is able to find itself.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations