Russia, Ukraine, and U.S. Policy Options

A Briefing Memo

Ukraine’s crisis has continued escalating since former president Viktor Yanukovych announced his decision to cancel the planned signing of an association agreement with the European Union in November 2013. Over the subsequent 15 months, what began as a debate over a relatively arcane trade deal descended into revolution, a Russian invasion, and a civil war in eastern Ukraine. Despite wholesale political change in Ukraine, repeated diplomatic initiatives, and billions of dollars in foreign assistance, the crisis shows no signs of ending. The effects of the crisis have also rippled across Europe, and across the Atlantic. Relations between the United States and its European allies on the one hand and Russia on the other have plummeted to levels not seen since the Cold War.

Andrew C. Kuchins