International Trade

Trade policy and deterring war: The case of Ukraine since the annexation of Crimea

While potential military developments—including steps that reinforce Ukraine’s capacity to defend itself—may be decisive in the days ahead, the capacity of Ukraine to strengthen its armed forces over the medium term depended on its access to foreign markets in part. In this note evidence is presented that casts doubt on the extent to which EU, UK, and US commercial policies have supported Ukrainian export growth since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. These findings speak to the longstanding cornerstone of the world trading system that international trade and peace are inextricably linked—in this case, short-sighted unilateral policy decisions by the West may have undercut broader diplomatic objectives of shoring up Ukraine and deterring war.