Geopolitical policy dilemma for Eastern Partnership countries: democracy and security
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The Eastern Partnership (EaP) was established in 2009 to formalize the EU's interactions with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova. The EU's goal was to strengthen cooperation, play a role to these states' economic, political, and social development, and enhance stability in the region. However, the Kremlin was concerned regarding EU initiatives to establish its own influence in the region in the CIS space: to deprive Russia of the status of the prioritized partner of some of the six aforementioned countries through the EaP and to create an alternative to Russia's integrationist strategies in the CIS. The research study seeks to highlight geopolitical policy dilemma for Eastern Partnership Countries and underline policy tools employed by the regional actors over 6 program countries by attempting to identify an answer to the question that why the promotion of democracy which is an important element of EU’s value-driven foreign policy triggers conflict of interest with Russia which leads to the security challenges for these 6 countries. Furthermore, it identifies the main motivations for the EU-Russia involvement in the region and clarifies different approaches to policymaking. The qualitative research method of data analysis, particularly document analysis is used in this research study to clarify where Russia's and the EU's objectives intersect. On the other hand, the research by analyzing the EaP countries individually examines the domestic implications from the perspectives of democratization and security challenges in which the regional actors directly or indirectly are playing important roles. The thesis is based on neoliberal theory reflecting on the research question. Particularly offensive and defensive realism explains the appropriate reaction to the security dilemma of the EaP countries. Furthermore, one of the key emphasis is placed on the issue of the security dilemma, how it demonstrates on the challenges in the EaP countries, and how it characterizes the geopolitical situation for the EaP. As a result, the research argues on the geopolitical policy dilemma of the EaP countries inferred from the conflict of interest between Russia and the EU.
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