Poland, Ukraine, and the Idea of Strategic Partnership

Stephen R. Burant


Both Ukrainian and Polish policymakers have come to use the term strategic partnership to characterize the relationship between their two countries. Teodozii Starak, an adviser to the Ukrainian Embassy in Poland, has stated that strategic partnership "means that both [Ukraine and Poland] demonstrate coordinated stances and support each other in the most important political areas. " However, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma also regularly uses the term to characterize his country's relations with Russia. In addition, Ukrainian officials have labeled China, the United States, Germany, and Bulgaria as Ukraine's strategic partners. The use of the term with reference to Russia-with which Ukraine throughout the 1990s has had serious political differences-or Bulgaria or China, which are not priorities for Ukrainian foreign and security policy, appears to strip it of any significance; the term implies, at best, a goal, or, at worst, a public relations effort.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cbp.1999.81


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