« 2021. # 4 (160)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2021. № 4 (160), 783—791


DOI https://doi.org/10.15407/nz2021.04.783



  • ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9685-3953
  • Candidate of History, Associate Professor,
  • Ivan Franko National University of Lviv,
  • Department of Modern and Contemporary History
  • of Foreign Countries,
  • 1, Universytetska str., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine,
  • Contacts: е-mail: zoja_baran@ukr.net

Abstract. Introduction. The beginning of the last decade of the XX-th century marked by significant geopolitical changes in Europe. United Kingdom as an influential participant of international relations system was forced to seek answers to new challenges.

Problem Statement. The British government positively assessed Gorbachev’s reforms and considered the existence of a unitary USSR expedient, viewing it as a counterweight to a united Germany and the maintenance of centralized control over nuclear weapons.

Purpose. The article analyzes the attitude of the British politics to the formation of Ukraine’s independence in 1990—1991.

Methods. The general scientific methods of analysis and synthesis, as well as special scientific comparative-historical and chronological methods are used in the work. The author adheres to the principle of historicism.

The source base of this research was the speeches and statements of the leaders of Great Britain, transcripts of parliamentary debates.

Results. The British Thatcher’s government, despite the intensification of Ukraine’s movement towards independence, continued to perceive it exclusively as part of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, official London recognized the right of the Baltic States to independence. The problem of relations with the newly formed states became relevant for British government after the «parade of sovereignties». Some Scottish politicians, when discussing the problem of the collapse of the USSR, even put on the agenda the issue of Scottish self-determination. The debate in the British Parliament at that time has highlighted the priority of nuclear safety:someConservatives and Labor parliamentarians stressed the need to recognize and assist Ukraine’s independence, emphasizing the Ukrainian government’s intention to build a state without nuclear weapons, unlike Russia.

My key research conclusions are based on the thesis that in the foreign policy of the British government relations with Ukraine remained secondary and its decision depended on the position of the European community as a whole.

Keywords: Great Britain, M. Gorbachev, J. Major, USSR, M. Thatcher, Ukraine.

Received 28.07.2021


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