EU-Ukraine relations : representations of Russia in the EU rhetoric towards Ukraine
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Ukraine-Russia conflict that exploded in 2014 undermined the international law system's core, and the fundamentals of European as well as the global security architecture. The variety of research on the crisis issue provide different explanations of it. As the revolution in Ukraine started after Ukrainian government’s refusal to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, it is assumed that the EU played a certain role in the conflict. Many researchers on EU-Ukraine relations (Haukkala, 2015&2016; House of Lords, 2015; Kuzio, 2017) articulate that the EU contributed to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia by not thinking strategically and misunderstanding Russia. Therefore, to research Russia’s representations in the EU-Ukraine rhetoric preceding the crisis is necessary. Examining the EU’s policies towards Ukraine as well as the speeches of the high-ranked EU officials throughout six-year period from 2008 until 2014 illustrates how the EU represented Russia in its foreign policy discourse within EU-Ukraine relations. The analysis attempts to reveal how Russia’s representations led to its further exclusion from the European neighbourhood initiatives.