Internal or External Factors: Ukrainian and Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Policies





Published date: 

December, 2020


San-Yi Yang


The independence of post-communist countries following the dissolution of the Soviet Union is a crucial topic in academic research on contemporary international relations. The foreign policies and political development of these countries reveal various facets of their transitions. This paper focuses on the relationship between the regime transfer following the break up of the Union and the foreign policies of the countries in order to clarify the effects of internal/external factors on the aforementioned policies. This study examines two countries in order to clarify the relationship between regime transfer and foreign policies. Although the Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan have undergone frequent revolutions, they differ considerably in terms of their diplomatic directions. In the Ukraine, the foreign policy has changed following each revolution and the diplomatic direction has changed after each regime transfer. By contrast, the diplomatic direction of Kyrgyzstan has remained mostly unchanged despite the revolutions. In seeking to explain this difference we draw the following conclusions: (a) A revolution has only a small impact on foreign policy; it is the competition for power and asymmetric dependence that have a major impact. (b) Geopolitical divisions serve as a major factor affecting the foreign policies of the two countries. Revolutions affect foreign policy either in terms of their scope or are simply irrelevant.