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SPP 437

Title: BELARUS, UKRAINE AND RUSSIA: EAST OR WEST?
 
Author: Stephen White and Ian McAllister
 
Description: Belarus and Ukraine are ‘lands in between’, pulled by their language, religion and history towards the West but also towards the other former Soviet republics with which they were for so long associated. The evidence of national representative surveys between 2000 and 2007 suggests that feelings of ‘Europeanness’ have been declining, as also in Russia (which is included for comparative purposes); so has the wish to join the European Union (although it remains a popular option), or NATO. ‘Soviet nostalgia’ has been declining in parallel, more so in Belarus and Ukraine than in Russia; but there is a strong wish in all three countries to associate more closely within the Commonwealth of Independent States. Crosstabulating, the evidence suggests that Ukraine is the most sharply polarised between these two foreign policy orientations, and the one in which popular attitudes are most likely to constrain the actions of its governing authorities.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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