Beyond the EU and NATO: Where Else in the World Should Ukraine Be Looking?


Maksym Panchenko, analyst and journalist at UkraineWorld and Internews Ukraine, argues that there is much that Ukraine can do with its foreign relations in parallel to its Euro-Atlantic integration.

“Ukraine is Europe. And more” – read the title of an April 2020 article by Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba. Now, what exactly should “more” mean?

Back in 2014, Ukraine made a decisive and fundamental geopolitical choice, opting for integration with the EU and NATO, rather than with Russia and the blocs it controls. Though Ukraine’s geopolitical vector has previously varied based upon who was in office, its determination to move towards Europe has not faltered since the change to Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration in 2019, which only confirms the permanent nature of Euro-Atlantic choice. Moreover, that same year, Ukraine’s movement to membership in the EU and NATO was enshrined in the country’s constitution, making Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic ambitions, as the narrative goes, “irreversible.”

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