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Abstract


The Place of Ethnic Russian Population Living Outside The Russian Federation in the Near Abroad Policy of Russia and the Crimean Question
The Near Abroad Policy declared by the Russian Federation at the end of 1992 showed that Russia’s interest in the former Soviet States would continue even after the separation of Soviet Union. Protecting the ethnical Russian population living outside the Russian Federation, and their rights were specified as the main goals in the Near Abroad Policy revised after Putin’s inauguration as the President in 2000. In this context, having a significant ethnical Russian population in their land, Ukraine and its autonomous Republic of Crimea has taken a higher priority in Russia’s agenda. Following the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, Russia’s occupation and then its annexation of Crimea, the population of which is mostly composed of ethnical Russians has started a controversy on Russia’s Near Abroad Policy and its main purpose of protecting the ethnical Russian population living outside the Russian Federation and their rights. In this essay, it is argued that Russia’s annexation of Crimea after its occupation has two different meanings. One of them is that Russia’s Near Abroad Policy that has been pronounced since 1990s and a new version of this same policy revised by Putin after his inauguration to Presidency have been put into practice from theory. The other one is that in Crimea, which has historically been a balancing element between the relations of Russia and Ukraine, the balance has been changed in favour of Russia.<

Keywords
Russian Federation, Near Abroad Policy, Ukraine, Crimea Problem, European Union, NATO.


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