UPR’s Diplomacy at the Conclusion of the National Liberation Struggle: The 1921 Black Sea Union

Viktor Matviienko
Doctor of History, Head of the Department of International Organisations and Diplomatic Service, Educational and Scientific Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

DOI: 10.37837/2707-7683-2022-25

Abstract. The article offers an insight into the foreign policy of the Ukrainian People’s Republic at the final stage of the national liberation struggle. Author analyses the UPR’s course towards forging stable political and economic alliances with the peripheral states that have emerged on the post-imperial territory of russia. The most ambitious project of 1919–20 was the creation of the Baltic-Black Sea Union consisting of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Finland, and Ukraine; however, the legal aspects of the organisation of the Black Sea Union became of primary importance in late November 1920. The certain aspirations for its formation were based on the intensification of anti-Bolshevik insurgent movements in the regions on the Don, Kuban, and Terek Rivers, in Dagestan and Chechnya, the existence of the Republic of Mountainous Armenia and the Democratic Republic of Georgia, which were independent from the kremlin. During the spring–autumn of 1921, the governments-in-exile of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, the Georgian Democratic Republic, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, and the Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus completed the treaty and legal formalisation of the Black Sea Union. Yet, the project was not implemented de-facto: the then military and political situation in Central and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus was not favourable for the successful struggle for independence of the peripheral states of the former empire.
In the late 20th century, Ukraine and the Transcaucasian countries restored their independence, thus creating new political realities in Europe. It became possible to implement effective projects of the Black Sea sub-regional associations, in particular the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation and Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM), aimed at the development of a network of transport connections and broad economic cooperation.
Keywords: Black Sea Union, Ukrainian People’s Republic, Democratic Republic of Georgia, Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of North Caucasus Mountaineers, peripheral states, government-in-exile.

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