POLAND AND GERMANY VIS-A-VIS THE EUROPEAN ASPIRATIONS OF UKRAINE
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Guided by historical and geopolitical reasons, after 1991 Poland supported the difficult process of Ukrainian transformation, striving to draw Ukraine away from a close cooperation with Russia and bring it into more direct contact with the European Union. In the 1990s Poland was considered to be Ukraine's main lobbyist in Western Europe, Germany included. In the hierarchy of goals of German foreign policy, Ukraine was of secondary importance after it regained independence. Throughout the 1990s and at the beginning of the 21st century, interest in Ukraine and its problems was meager in the FRG and the Ukrainian market did not represent a great value for German economy. In their eastern policy Germans follow the principle Russia first, so in their gestures and engagement towards Kiev they were careful not to do anything that Moscow could see as a hostile. After the 'orange revolution', the coalition government CDU/CSU-SPD led by A. Merkel treats with more reserve the earlier strategy of G. Schröder which meant preference for relations with Russia and some discrimination of Kiev. On account of authoritarian tendencies on the part of the Kremlin administration and suppression of the freedom of speech in Russia, Germans spoke with moderation about 'strategic partnership' with Moscow. Almost automatically this improved their relations with Ukraine. Ukraine was promised a special status within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, but despite Poland's efforts and support, Germany has not yet defined the prospects of Ukraine's accession to the European Union.
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