102 , 2016 , Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University
This paper examines the contemporary border between Ukraine and Russia as a case study of Russia’s approach to its borders. Two research questions are addressed: Firstly, what does the annexation of Crimea by Russia as well as its attempts to further undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity in its eastern region of Donbas say about Russia’s peculiar approach to Ukraine and its borders? Secondly Whether and To what extent does Russia’s approach represent a broader pattern of Russia’s policy towards its borders? This paper is divided into three parts: the first part gives a brief account of the modern history of the Russian-Ukrainian border; the second part focuses on peculiar Russian approaches to Ukraine revealed during the current Russian-Ukrainian crisis; the third part puts “the Ukrainian case” into broader conceptual frameworks. This paper concludes that Russia’s recognition of the territorial integrity and the borders of the post-Soviet states is conditional and depends mainly on their participation in Russia-led integration projects.