The origins of the Ukraine crisis and the need for collective security between Russia and the WestThe origins of the Ukraine crisis and the need for collective security between Russia and the West
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
GLOBAL POLICY (ELECTRONIC)
(2016), p. 1-10
University of Antwerp
The relationship between major powers in the world determines the level of global stability. Two constellations are imaginable: balance of power and collective security. The end of major (world or cold) wars offers possibilities for change from one constellation to another. This article tries to explain the origins of the Ukraine crisis. It posits that the crisis in Ukraine is only a symptom of a wider conflict between two major powers (or power blocs), whose origins can only be understood by assessing the post-Cold War security architecture in Europe. Instead of having integrated Russia in a collective security organization on an equal level, the West kept NATO alive and by doing so deteriorated the relationship with Russia. Despite different warnings from Moscow, NATO invited Ukraine to become member, and the EU offered Trade and Association Agreement talks to Ukraine. As a result, the relationship glided back towards a classic balance of power relation with spheres of influences. To prevent similar conflicts in the future, Russia should be integrated into the Euro-Atlantic security architecture. Ideally, the existing collective defence organization (NATO) should be transformed into a collective security organization with the inclusion of both Russia and Ukraine.