Danubius International Conferences, 8th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

The Russian Influence in the Ukrainian Political and Economic Environment

Florin Iftode
Last modified: 2018-06-11


The importance of Russia in securing energy resources, at least in the Eurasian space and in the North American space, is huge. It is one of the realities that must be taken into account in the configuration of the strategic security environment of the future. For now, this space of great energy resources is confusing and conflicting.

The post-Soviet world has become a new geostrategic reality, in a chaotic transition, burying under the walls of a planned economy once a power pole, the old East. Anyway, we would designate Eurasia's "land ocean": the Russian Empire, the USSR, the Commonwealth of Independent States or, more recently, the Eurasian Union; it undoubtedly represents an economic community of its own, in many respects an terra incognito. Its polyphonic body, entered into a new millennium, has developed and advanced a new case for public opinion, a new "Russian project".

In order to understand coherently and appropriately how a geopolitical actor manifests itself, we need to investigate its resources and the political system in which these resources are ordered. In Russian, the power is synonymous with leadership, and powers are associated with state forces, government centralizing organs, and local government.

About Putin, the stakes in Ukraine were much higher. It was the historical root of Russia itself: the medieval Kievean Russian state, whose leader, Vladimir the Great, adopted Christianity in 988 and the border of the Russian states that followed - his name being translated literally as Ukraine, or "the border". The borders of Ukraine have changed over time: parts of its western territory belonged to Poland or Austro-Hungary. With the Hitler secret pact of 1939, Stalin took part of it, and the rest after the Great Patriotic War. The modern outline of Ukraine was shaped, but seemed ephemeral, subjected to greater forces of geopolitics, as had been the majority of border areas throughout history. In 1963, Nikita Hrusciov decided that Crimea, conquered by Catherine the Great in the eighteenth century and heroically defended against the Nazis, would be governed by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine in Kiev, not Moscow. At that time no one - and certainly not Putin when, after two decades, spent her honeymoon there - did not foresee that one day Ukraine and with her Crimea would be part of another independent nation. Even now, it seems a historic accident that Putin, like most of the Russians, would tolerate only as long as Ukraine remains firmly nestled in Russia's geopolitical embrace.