The Ukraine Conflict

Attitudes – conflict areas - approaches

Heinz Brill


Since 1991 Ukraine has been a sovereign state again. The territory of the – as far as its area is concerned - biggest but one state of Europe has been guaranteed in international treaties. How fragile these guarantees are, however, has become known in the late autumn of 2013. On 21st November 2013, the Ukrainian government had discarded a convention of association with the EU, thus rushing the country into a serious crisis. The internal conflict about the future economic orientation of the country has become an international conflict between Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the USA and the EU, and the respective leading member states have played an important role in this conflict. Today, the Ukraine Conflict polarizes the entire European continent. Research on the causes of the current crisis “Crimea-Ukraine-Russian Federation-EU-NATO” has to deal with an important factor: the radical change of the political map of Eurasia in the beginning of the 90ies of the past century, especially including on the one hand the break-up and on the other hand the rise of states. Here, the “disintegrated states” are the multinational states Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, whereas the rising states are Germany and Turkey. For the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation respectively, the disintegration – together with the breakup of the Warsaw Pact – not only meant the loss of its previous area of influence in Central and Eastern Europe, but also a gradual change of its previous geostrategic apron. So far the future of the post-Soviet region has not been discussed sufficiently between the EU, NATO and Russia, and the submitted proposals have not been reviewed sufficiently, neither. For this reason, in an era of vicissitude this analysis at hand is supposed to explain the new domestic and foreign political dynamisms of politics, as only few distinguished experts have analysed the geopolitical rearrangement of the region of the former Soviet Union. The cultural frontier between Latin and Orthodox Europe goes right through Ukraine. At the moment, a quick settlement of the Ukraine Conflict appears to have hardly any prospect of success. Thus, approaches and suggestions for preventing the failing of Ukraine are urgently required. The following suggestions are being discussed at the moment: the transformation into a federal state with internationally granted warranties; the division into West and East Ukraine according to the Czech pattern; peace by territorial disclaimer; membership in the EU and NATO; membership in the Eurasian Union; an overall European Free Trade Association; an intermediary role between the EU and the Russian Federation; status of neutrality; the right of self-determination and security-political status according to the German pattern; the Finnish model; neutrality according to the Austrian model. As far as security-political planning is concerned, we are facing new challenges today. The future of the Ukrainian and European security politics must be reconsidered and planned in a new international framework. Due to the security-political structural change, all persons dealing with strategy research are invited to face these challenges and to find a strategy in compliance with our time.