Russia’s New Ukraine Policy
Ukraine is a uniquely important country for Russia and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The two countries are united not only by history and religion, but also by structural, social, and economic ties inherited from the Imperial and Soviet eras. In fact, those ties account for a double-digit percentage of both countries’ respective GDPs. However, Russian-Ukrainian interdependence has been decreasing since 2004 due to choices made by the Ukrainian elite and the continuing political instability in Ukraine. Russia believes that the regime in Ukraine is hostile and will remain in power for a long time. This has forced Russia to continue reducing its dependence on Ukraine. It is in the interests of both countries to ensure that the process of reducing interdependence is both gradual and carefully thought out.