Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2009

Averting Crisis in Ukraine

Steven Pifer

January 2009

Council on Foreign Relations


Ukraine faces a year of challenge in 2009. In the aftermath of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, Kiev must cope with an increasingly assertive Russian foreign policy. The Kremlin regards Ukraine as part of its sphere of privileged interests, has made clear its unhappiness with Kiev’s desire to integrate into the European and Euro-Atlantic communities, and will attempt to disrupt that course. The possibility exists, more real following the August conflict, of a serious confrontation between Kiev and Moscow over issues such as Ukraine’s geopolitical orientation and the Black Sea Fleet.