Africa and the Ukraine Crisis: Exploring Attitudes
The scale and global consequences of the Ukraine crisis do not allow even countries that are not directly involved in the standoff to ignore it. Most members of the international system have to respond to the current events and formulate their position on the conflict. When analyzing these positions, the epistemic community tries to explain what stands behind different reactions to the crisis. The focus of academic work varies from the attitude of a single country to cross-country comparisons. This paper, pertaining to the latter category, presents a coordinate system to map the international reaction to the Ukraine crisis, with special attention to African states. Using the methods of cluster, correlation, and regression analyses, the authors present an overall picture of the international reaction to the crisis over time and highlight factors that can influence the positions of states. The results show that the positions of African states cannot be easily explained by material factors, but are rather the consequence of political choice, and hence are subject to change. African states gravitate towards a neutral position to stay equidistant from both sides in the confrontation. The authors conclude that assertive attempts by the great powers to persuade African states to solidarize with their positions may prove abortive.