CURRENT REGIONAL POLITICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL SETTING OF UKRAINE
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
The current regional political and geographical setting of Ukraine as a Central European state was suggested. Consideration of Ukraine in the context of any other historical and geographical region contradicts to scientific approaches and its real location. It was emphasized that the political and geographical setting of Ukraine in the beginning of the XX and the XXI centuries has a certain similarity, that makes the views of S. Rudnytsky, V. Kubiyovych, Y.Lypa still currently important. Ukraine, in terms of centrality, is the second country in the region after Hungary. Six out of seven land neighbours of Ukraine are Central European states, and other eight Central European countries are the second order neighbours. By using score-based estimation Central European states were grouped accordant to their priorities in cooperation concerning Ukraine. The states of the region were divided into the six groups of political cooperation priorities as follows: Group 2 – Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovakia, Croatia, Montenegro; Group 3 – Moldova, Macedonia, Albania; Group 4 – Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Group 5 – Belarus. The main problems and directions of bilateral and multilateral cooperation of Ukraine with the most important of them (Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Romania) were covered. The most problematic issues in cooperation of Ukraine with these and other states in the region (contradictory interpretation of historical events, the existence of myths, the influence of radical and populist political forces, support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, sanctions against Russia, assimilation of national minorities, the use of national languages in the educational process), the ways of their overcoming and the ways of closer partnership establishing were analyzed. The dynamics of the number of Ukrainians in the states of Central Europe and the necessity for their protection are indicated. The current role of Russia and the ways of its influence on the policy of the states of Central Europe are pointed out and the main directions of neutralization of Russian negative influence are outlined. The importance for Ukraine of further steps towards the full integration into NATO, the EU, participation in existing regional organizations and further advancement of the idea of the Baltic-Black Sea Alliance is emphasized. The troubled areas in and close by Central Europe and their influence on the regional political and geographical setting of Ukraine are indicated. The options to improve the regional political and geographical setting of Ukraine were summarized.
regional political and geographical setting, cooperation, partnership, priority ranking in cooperation, troubled areas, Ukraine, Central Europe, Poland, Lithuania, Baltic-Black Sea Alliance.
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