Hilmar Þór Hilmarsson
- Volume 4 Issue (1) 2020
Ukraine’s history has been a turbulent one, and currently the country is in a crisis. The purpose of the article is to discuss how Ukraine can move away from the current East-West competition that poses a risk of dividing the country into two. What does it take to move a united Ukraine forward? How can Ukraine progress economically, politically and improve its security profile? The methodology used in the article is the case study method and it often compares Ukraine’s performance with Poland, a country of a similar size in terms of population, land mass, and located in geographic proximity. The article argues that more inclusive and sustainable growth in Ukraine will require increased productivity of the economy, more benefits from international trade and investment supported by closer integration into the global economy, as well as a well-governed domestic economy with stronger institutions to withstand pressures from vested interests. The US, EU and NATO must make more efforts to help Ukraine resolve the current conflict with Russia, which in turn needs to stop the military engagement in Ukraine to let it recover and benefit from integration and cooperation with the West. NATO membership and full EU membership should not be considered for now, but Ukraine should be an independent and neutral buffer state between the East and the West, with full access to the EU common market. Ukraine needs increased financial support, especially from the EU, US, IMF and the World Bank for its reconstruction.