Ukraine in the world: ---> Foreign Policy of Ukraine

Periods of the foreign policy of Ukraine
Modern priorities of the Ukrainian foreign policy have gone through a long process of transformations in a rather complicated international environment. At that early stage of Ukraine’s existence as an independent state the nation had to prove its capacity of being a worthy player on the international arena, gain the reputation in the international organizations and protect its own interests in the sphere of foreign policy. Ukraine has started building its own diplomatic service system following the experience of several dozens of diplomats and small diplomatic missions of the Ukrainian SSR that was one of the UN founder members. It preceded this activity at the UN headquarters in New York, UN departments and bodies in Geneva, UNESCO specialised agencies in Paris and international organizations in Vienna.

Safeguarding independence by foreign policy principles (1991 - 1994)

The Declaration of State Sovereignty adopted on July 16, 1990 and the Act of Independence of Ukraine proclaimed on August 24, 1991 became the starting point in the process of building-up Ukraine as an independent state. The renewed Ukrainian state began working on the creation of the foreign policy guidelines that would meet the criteria of the present-day realities. The activities of the country were also concentrated on formulating the approaches that would promote the realization of the interests of Ukraine on the international arena. During the first years of the country’s independence its main foreign policy priorities were directed at winning international recognition of Ukraine, securing international personality of the state, establishing equal relations with other countries, first of all, with the former Soviet republics as well as with neighbouring states and the most powerful nations in the world. Other integral parts of that processes were steps aimed at, first, creating favorable conditions in the external world that would guarantee national security of the country and, second, extending the network of diplomatic representative bodies. These main principles in the foreign policy of the Ukrainian state were primarily stipulated by the necessity to assure national security, territorial integrity and inviolability as well as to form favourable environment outside Ukraine’s borders.

Ukrainian diplomacy has become completely independent of Moscow. Today it has to find its own way for the solution of all the problems that have appeared before the newly independent Ukrainian state on the international arena and caused considerable slowdown in recognizing Ukraine as a full-fledged partner of the international community. Suffice it to say that Ukraine has inherited the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world and, thus, appeared under the cautious eye of the leading states. Besides, it was treated as a country whose policy was affected by the so-called “Russian factor”. Those were the conditions that characterized the development of the Ukrainian state. Parallel to those were the processes of establishing relations with other countries in the world, opening embassies, joining the already functioning international and legal structures, setting up legal basis for the relations with each particular state. It is due to the active stand of the Ukrainian diplomacy that this task has been fulfilled and Ukraine hasn’t appeared in the “grey zone” on the political map of the world. It has avoided the status of the abandoned country situated somewhere on the sidelines of the world and European processes.

Among the peculiarities of the formation of Ukrainian foreign policy at that time one should emphasize the fact that the country acquired the status of a non-nuclear state and followed the consecutive policy in this direction. By June 1, 1996 the process of nuclear disarmament had been finally completed and Ukraine voluntarily got rid of the third largest in the world nuclear arsenal of 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles with almost 1500 nuclear warheads. This had become an unprecedented event in the world history. One of the most important developments marking the formation of the legal basis of Ukraine’s activities in the sphere of international relations was the resolution on the Basic Directions of the Foreign Policy of Ukraine approved by the Verhovna Rada of Ukraine on July 2, 1993. This fundamental document determined Ukraine’s main national interests in the sphere of foreign policy, defined its guidelines and principles, marked first priority tasks to be aimed at and leading directions to be followed.

The resolution outlined the following priorities of the foreign policy of Ukraine:

developing bilateral interstate relationship
enlarging participation in the European regional co-operation
collaborating with the CIS member states
participating as a member state in the work of the UN and other universal international organisations
This fundamental document has become the basic guideline for Ukraine’s foreign policy. At the same time tactical adjustments to the Ukrainian foreign policy have been made in accordance with the developments on the international arena.

International recognition (1994 - 1997)

The years 1994-1995 were characterized by a particular evolution of the accents in the foreign policy of Ukraine: economic aspect of foreign relations was put in line with such principles as advocating political interests and defending national security. Ukraine started being provided with favorable external conditions for social and economic transformations inside the country. It was gradually winning the reputation of being an influential state in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time intensified efforts were aimed at involving the nation into general European processes. In general, foreign policy of Ukraine started undergoing the process of transformations. It was less concentrated on establishing and maintaining foreign policy relations with other states but more focused on the systematic and programmed advocacy of its practical national interests. Pushing these interests forward and strengthening the influence of the country on the international arena have become important factors of the Ukrainian foreign policy initiatives. Pragmatism, economic and political expediency have been proclaimed fundamental principles of the foreign policy of Ukraine.

Strong adherence of Ukraine to the principles and norms of international law, its foreseeable foreign policy aimed at gaining the result have originated in the fact that our country has started being recognized by more and more states as one of the significant factors guaranteeing security and stability in the region and Europe as a whole.

European and Euro-Atlantic integration (since 1997)

As the integration processes in Europe developed Ukraine’s involvement into the co-operation with European and Euro-Atlantic structures has gained particular importance. Acquiring membership in OSCE and the Council of Europe, Ukraine proceeded with purposeful efforts aimed at upgrading relations with the EU and NATO. The country’s foreign policy progressed to be able to form a current vision of it’s priorities as we see them today.

The Charter on Distinctive Partnership and the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation with the EU, signed respectively in 1997 and 1998, have constituted solid foundation in developing relationship between Ukraine and these structures. In 1998 the state adopted the Strategies of Ukraine’s Integration to the EU and in 2002 - similar document was signed with NATO. These events led to the establishment of the mechanisms required to implement the whole complex of domestic and foreign policy measures, thus, moving Ukraine closer to the integration with the EU and NATO.

Once the foundation for bilateral relations had been established there started the process of filling these relations with a real sense and gaining concrete results out of the process of co-operation in different spheres. The grounds for the strategic partnership with the USA, Russia and Poland have been set. Preconditions for the development of mutually beneficial co-operation with Ukraine’s strategic partners in Europe and on other continents have appeared.

The interests of Ukraine’s exporters on the foreign markets and foreign capital inducement to the Ukrainian economy have developed into one of the priority tasks in the foreign policy of the state. Parallel were the processes of expanding the co-operation with the world financial institutions that have marked one of the leading spheres of the Ukrainian foreign policy course as well. Ukraine has preserved its well-known active position in resolving vital issues in the world policy in the framework of the UN activities. It gained the reputation of a reliable member of the world community after participating in numerous peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the UN. Ukraine has begun playing a visible role in regional policy being involved into the activities of regional economic and political institutions.

Foreign Policy of Ukraine
Bilateral Relations
Co-operations with international Organization

21th All-Ukrainian exhibition of building and architecture with the international participation
Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk

20th Specialized International Exhibition Outfit, Accessories and Tackles for Hunting and Fishing

Ukraine, Kiev,

OFF - ROAD 2011
11th International Specialized Exhibition Cross-Road Vehicles, Accessories and Fittings
Ukraine, Kyiv,

KIFF 2011
Ukraine, Kive

For More Detail Please Visit

Anatoliy Zlenko - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (July, 1990 - August, 1994; October, 2000 - September, 2003)

AGennadiy Udovenko - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (August, 1994 - April, 1998)

Borys Tarasyuk - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (April, 1998 - September, 2000; since February 2005)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Kostyantyn Gryshchenko - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (September, 2003 - February 2005)


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