In Ukraine, the UK Finds a Timely Ally

Overtures with Kyiv hint at London’s behavior on the world stage after Brexit.

An unexpected and overlooked consequence of the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 was that it brought Ukraine militarily closer to the United Kingdom. Over the past few months alone, they signed several important documents concerning political and military cooperation, the most notable of which suggested a mutual readiness for the U.K to build a naval base in Ukraine. What may seem like an odd pairing actually makes geopolitical sense. As the United Kingdom approaches the final stage of Brexit, it is trying to figure out a strategy for its new place in the world. As then-Prime Minister Theresa May pointed out in 2016, that new strategy must be global, and being global requires new relationships or, in some cases, new formats of older relationships. Either way, it looks as though a fundamental element of post-Brexit U.K. strategy will be to isolate Russia from the rest of Eurasia. Ukraine can be a means to all those ends. In fact, the U.K. is Ukraine’s second most important partner after the United States, and in some ways is even more brazen in its support (whether on its own or through NATO). It has introduced a comprehensive strategy toward Ukraine that boasts several […]

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Ridvan Bari Urcosta
Mr. Urcosta joins Geopolitical Futures as an analyst with wide experience in the Black Sea region, Russia and the Middle East, Ukraine and Crimea as a geopolitical region and Eastern Europe. He is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Strategic Studies, University of Warsaw and he also teaches an independent ERASMUS course: “Russia and the Middle East: Geopolitics and Diplomacy.” He was born in Abkhazia, Georgia where he lived until the onset of the Civil War. In the early 1990’s he moved to Crimea where he lived until its annexation by Russia. At the moment of annexation he worked in the Sevastopol State Administration. Right after annexation he worked as a Human Rights Officer in Odessa, Ukraine in the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission. Mr. Urcosta graduated from the Estonian Diplomatic Academy in 2015 and completed The Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) in 2017, a comprehensive human rights training program, that was established by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. In 2018 he gave a speech at the UN Human Rights Council about the human rights situation in annexed by Russian Federation Crimea. Previously Mr. Urcosta has provided insights to different analytical centers including the European Council on Foreign Relations, Jamestown Foundation, War Room (U.S. War College) The Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute), Jerusalem Post and others. He previously worked as an assistant to the Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, a single supreme plenipotentiary representative and executive body of the Crimean Tatar people. He speaks Polish, Russian, English, Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar and Turkish. Moreover, Ridvan works as Senior analyst at the Polish think tank "Strategy&Future" with Jacek Bartosiak (Warsaw, Poland).