- In signing the Kharkiv Accords with Russia in April 2010, President Yanukovych compromised important elements of Ukraine's independence for the sake of internal consolidation and short-term economic and political gains. These concessions have increased Russian pressure rather than defused it.
- The gas subsidy and the accompanying agreement to prolong the lease of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea ensure that Ukraine's relations with Russia will continue to be structured by opaque practices, economic dependency and limited diplomatic and geopolitical options for Ukraine, and make it more difficult to pursue urgent reforms. At the same time Ukraine's security cooperation with NATO has been downgraded, and there are worrying infringements of democratic and civil freedoms.
- The European Union, the US and NATO should not confuse respect for Ukraine's sovereign right to choose its political course with indifference to the consequences both for Ukraine and European security. The short-sightedness of Ukraine's current approach will soon become evident to Yanukovych and his advisers.
- The EU and international institutions should stand ready to offer a convincing package of alternatives. At present, however, the US and Europe lack a clear definition of interests vis-à -vis Ukraine, a set of concrete aspirations and a strategy for promulgating and realizing them.
- The IMF has set a model of tough but constructive conditionality that others should follow. Above all, the EU should consider offering Ukraine a long-term membership perspective on a similar tightly conditional basis and revise its position on visa liberalization.
More resources can be found on the project Re-Establishing Security in the Black Sea Region >>