The Great Orange Hope: Ukraine, NATO, and the Dilemma of European Integration After the Orange Revolution
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis examines the dilemma of Ukrainian integration into Europe and analyzes the significance and prospect of Ukrainian membership in NATO following the 2004 Orange Revolution. The extraordinary election of Victor Yushchenko became a powerful catalyst for Ukrainian integration efforts into Europe and amplified Ukraines geopolitical plight between Europe and Eurasia. Although Russia remains Ukraines eternal strategic partner, President Yushchenko affirmed his intention to integrate Ukraine into the EU and the NATO. However, EU accession remains improbable due to years of empty Ukrainian reform efforts coupled with recent setbacks within the EU. Consequently, the Ukrainian path into Europe starts with NATO integration. Despite periods of political discord, Ukraine and NATO share a history of military cooperation, and Ukraine would be an asset within the transformed Alliance. After the Orange Revolution, NATO quickly moved to consolidate democracy, promote reforms, and facilitate future Ukrainian integration into Europe. With support, Ukraine may fulfill the necessary conditions for NATO accession in the coming years. However, the notion of NATO membership is still unpopular among Ukrainians, and anti-NATO influence in Ukraine remains significant. The onus remains on Ukraine to take the actions needed to join the Euro-Atlantic and European communities, and long-term success remains uncertain.
- Government and Political Science