Averting Crisis in Ukraine: Council Special Report No. 41, January 2009 (Council on Foreign Relations (Council on Foreign Relations Press))

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9780876094273: Averting Crisis in Ukraine: Council Special Report No. 41, January 2009 (Council on Foreign Relations (Council on Foreign Relations Press))

As the largest country entirely within Europe, and given its strategic position as the energy gateway between Europe and Russia, Ukraine has tremendous economic potential. At the same time, its historical links to Russia complicate efforts to consolidate stable democratic practices. The prospect of Ukraine's eventual membership in NATO is also a source of friction in U.S.-Russia relations and the subject of disagreement within NATO itself.

In Averting Crisis in Ukraine, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer takes all these issues into account as he examines the many challenges facing the country. The report comprehensively analyzes Ukraine's difficulties, related to both domestic conditions —such as fractious politics and deeply divided public opinion —and foreign policy —such as issues related to the Black Sea fleet and Ukrainian and European dependence on Russia's natural gas. Through a thoughtful analysis of these significant issues, Pifer recommends concrete steps for Washington to encourage Kiev on a path of democracy, stability, and integration with the West without aggravating tensions with Moscow.

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About the Author:

Steven Pifer is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Center on the United States and Europe and a nonresident senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Previously, he was a deputy assistant secretary of state, with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine, as well as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

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