Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts What the West Can Learn from Rationalizing Russia’s Action in Ukraine
What the West Can Learn from Rationalizing Russia’s Action in Ukraine

What the West Can Learn from Rationalizing Russia’s Action in Ukraine

Abstract

Russia’s foreign policy decisions towards Ukraine in the context of the “Ukraine crisis” have been portrayed largely in a negative light which crudely paints Russia’s actions as being imperialistic, evil and largely irrational. This article argues that by looking at the interplay of identity and perceptions at the foreign policymaking level, Russia’s actions in Ukraine can be, to some degree, rationalized. First, Russia’s Eurasian–oriented great power role identity and its perceptions of Ukraine as represent a vital national interest. Second, the European Union and the United States are perceived as embodying a Western team of anti-Russian imperialists, which led Moscow to pursue hazardous foreign policies.

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