Eu and russia relationship

Russia–European Union relations - Wikipedia

eu and russia relationship

The EU and Russia have become locked in an open battle over the norms This Power Audit of EU-Russia relations seeks to describe a path. EU-Russia relations are shaped by their different approaches to international politics. Where the former follows a liberal path, the latter pursues. These values underpin the EU-Russia relationship. The current legal basis for EU-Russia relations is the Partnership and.

Hungary and perhaps Greece are examples of countries in which disagreements with the EU mainstream on asylum policy and the protection of civil society, and the euro respectively correlate with a divergent stance on Russia.

EU-Russia Relations in the New Putin Era – ICDS

Indeed, Hungary stands out as the one EU country that, in the context of normative war, often takes a stance closer to the Russian side of the argument. Overall, Russia may still try to sow discord within the EU, but it is far less able to play member states off against each other than it was ten years ago.

But it is clearly not enough to manage the normative challenge that Russia poses. For that, one also needs policy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once jokingly added a third: EU member states generally agree that Russia is to blame. Sanctions on Russia and troop reinforcements in eastern EU states have provided some answers to the question of what is to be done.

Nonetheless, the EU cannot prevail in a normative war if it does not know how to tackle the challenger.

It's time for realism in EU-Russia ties: France's Macron | Reuters

To be effective, the EU also needs a common Russia strategy that reflects not just Europe, but also Russia. What can it achieve?

How can Russia fit into the liberal world order that the EU seeks to promote? How can the EU influence Moscow? Answering these questions is difficult and risks dividing Europe on Russia once again.

EU-Russia Relations: Towards an Increasingly Geopolitical Paradigm

But an effective Russia strategy for a normative war needs to accommodate an agreement on concrete policies. The EU will need to strategise, not just sermonise.

eu and russia relationship

The — clearly non-exhaustive — list of issues below highlights some areas in which a lack of both clarity and a joint approach hampers EU policymaking. For instance, the EU does not have a common strategy on sanctions, its eastern neighbourhood, or energy security.

In addition, there is also confusion about methods — such as dialogue with Russia — and the division of work between member states and EU institutions.

Winning the normative war with Russia: An EU-Russia Power Audit

For EU countries, such an approach is simply unacceptable — made taboo by their twentieth-century experiences with spheres of influence. Ukraine is a prime example here: Russia had extensive leverage over its economy and leadership, only to see it swept away in a popular revolution. Or one could look at Belarus and Armenia: Europe cannot possibly endow Moscow with the sphere of influence it craves: But, similarly, the EU lacks a viable policy for addressing this conceptual clash.

Russia is determined to resist any such development, while the countries themselves are going through a long and bumpy political transformation, characterised by ongoing tension between corrupt elites and maturing societies that demand a greater say. There is not a desire for EU membership everywhere and, even where there is, the reforms required by the accession process would infringe on the vested interests of powerful domestic constituencies.

It would not mean that West had brought Russia around to the ideas of cooperative, mutually beneficial arrangements that Europe sees as the goal for the continent. And, conversely, if these countries fail to reform, they still retain their rights to sovereignty and territorial integrity. To prevail, the EU needs to focus not just on promoting democracy, but also on upholding the principles of the OSCE-based post-cold war European order.

It needs to find ways to boost the sovereignty of these countries without an immediate membership perspective. The demand is there; Belarus, for example, has clearly asked: The goal and future of sanctions The EU has maintained unity on sanctions for four years. The absence of immediate results has led some policymakers — most notably in Italy, but also in Austria and Hungary — to declare that sanctions do not work.

There is no doubt, though, that sanctions have had economic effects. The political effects are less clear, but still detectable. Inthe sanctions did not succeed at convincing political and business elites to put pressure on the Kremlin.

eu and russia relationship

Byhowever, a prominent group of technocrats started speaking up in favour of improving relations with the West. The lesson here is that sanctions are inherently a long-term instrument. They do not work in isolation, but in combination with other policies and developments.

Furthermore, in a normative war, the stated aim may not even be the most important one. Energy security The Russians have often tried to use their energy relationship with various European states to corrupt and divide the EU. In the last ten years or so, however, Moscow has had little success in this effort. The EU has done many other things to diversify its energy supply away from Russia: Today, Russia remains the largest supplier of gas to the EU, but it cannot use gas as a weapon in the normative struggle in the way that it did ten years ago.

However, disputes around the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline — which would run from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea — show that there continue to be important disagreements.

eu and russia relationship

Unlike the debate over Nord Stream 1, that over Nord Stream 2 is not about how to deal with Russia but rather about competing business interests and differing views of energy security and diversification. Nor does Nord Stream 2 divide member states the way Nord Stream 1 did: Even so, the views of EU states do not provide a basis for sound policy.

European Union (EU) vs Russia 2017 - Who Would Win - Army / Military Comparison

Some countries in northern Europe — such as Denmark and, to a lesser extent, Sweden — consider the pipeline to be a security concern, fearing that Russia will use maintenance as a cover for covert operations. Others, such as Finland, see it as a purely commercial endeavour. Some countries view Nord Stream 2 as contrary to the letter or the spirit of the Energy Union, while others believe that the pipeline should be allowed because it predates the concept of the Energy Union.

Finally, Germany considers the supply of Russian gas via multiple pipelines to be sufficient energy diversification if the product can later be freely sold in an interconnected European market, while Poland believes that true diversification and energy security are unachievable without greater involvement of suppliers other than Russia.

Ultimately, who is right matters less than resolving the disagreement. European unity on Russia is far more important than the energy market effects of Nord Stream 2. The latter can always be mitigated, but the Russians are already seeking to use disagreements over Nord Stream 2 to undermine broader European unity on Russia policy.

To avoid this outcome, all sides need to seek a compromise on the approach, agree on a European-level process, and commit to accepting the result. The role of the EU To prevail in the normative struggle, member states also need to think harder about how to integrate the EU — its member states and EU institutions — into diplomacy with Russia.

This non-EU arrangement has worked relatively well until now but, even so, it is probably unsustainable. France and Germany have done a good job of building support for their efforts; Germany has taken particular care of the concerns of the countries that are most vulnerable and sensitive to all things related to Russia — such as Baltic states — by keeping them informed.

But some dissatisfaction is building up among medium-sized EU countries such as Sweden and Holland, which — while they do not dispute the essence of the policy — would like to play a larger role. We created European institutions to represent us all. They go for various reasons. Finland wants to maintain contact with a complicated neighbour, while Austria wants to enhance its business contacts with Russia. But many ministers, such as the Swedes or the British, just want to be part of the game, to feel relevant.

These visits are not bad in and of themselves. For now, they are mostly harmless, if largely useless. Yet, in theory, Moscow might seek to make use of such contact to split Europe and erode the consensus behind sanctions or other policies. This conception should also guide and empower EU institutions. For Moscow, it is exactly these institutions that embody the strict normative face of the EU. Around that time, Russia contacted Juncker with some policy proposals, but it never heard back from him — while bilateral tracks hummed along as before.

This legacy makes the idea of dialogue contentious and gives birth to fruitless arguments that treat it as an end in itself.

Member states are unsure what they want to talk to Russia about, or what talking can achieve in principle. It needs to do better; and the way is obvious: However, they are not enough to counter the Russian normative challenge.

Resilience is important for practical as well as normative reasons. Europe needs to show Moscow that its norms are viable and shared by its societies, and that the collapse of the European order is not on the cards. Similarly, European policies can only work if they have reasonable support at home. While many of these measures make sense, it is counterproductive to view them primarily as efforts to fight Russia.

Firstly, this is because Europeans cannot effectively counter this part of the Russian normative offensive head on. It is simply too diffuse. When Europeans mobilise against them with the resources of the state, it can often seem like an overreaction: Instead of fighting raindrops, one should fix the roof.

  • EU-Russia Relations in the New Putin Era
  • Russia–European Union relations
  • It's time for realism in EU-Russia ties: France's Macron

Some Europeans have already learned this lesson: We would now like to give it back to you! Invest in horizontal links between state agencies: By definition, hybrid threats emerge in multiple fields. This often complicates early warning processes, as information on what is happening remains scattered across different agencies. Governments should therefore ensure that state agencies talk to one another.

The European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats — a voluntary multilateral platform that both EU and NATO countries can join — is a good focal point for such work, and can share its know-how and provide technical assistance. Ensure that national domestic and foreign intelligence services or their equivalents are legally allowed to exchange information with one another, and that they do so in practice: Review legislation on political party financing: For these reasons, Russia prefers bilateral relations with EU member states to relations with the EU institutions.

As for the EU — being a liberal product born from the cooperation that arose from the ashes of World War II — it acts following a liberal paradigm, in which power politics is rejected, the mutual benefits of international cooperation are emphasised and increased economic and cultural interdependence is considered the way to reduce conflict. Yet, the influence of these four images has not always been obvious or explicit. This is due to different reasons, some inherent to the nature of the two ways of looking at the world, some due to historical circumstances.

A frustrating partnership When Russia emerged as the successor state of the deceased Soviet Union, there was in Europe a sense of end of history, a perception that Cold War-like geopolitics was over: During the Yeltsin years, a clear pattern emerged in EU-Russia relations: In those years of relative Russian weakness, the EU carried the leadership in advancing EU-Russia relations and offered normative frameworks for the development of relations.

The PCA establishes provisions for the development of relations in the political, legal and humanitarian spheres in addition to the economic dimension. Similar agreements were offered to the other states emerging from the collapse of Soviet Union. Bywhen the PCA entered into force, Russia had already begun to move away from its early days infatuation with Europe and had entered a process of consolidation of its own separate Eurasian identity.

eu and russia relationship

The PCA had several merits, including the establishment of a stable communication channel, which offered the possibility of a steady dialogue, allowing the EU and Russia to develop a relationship based on mutual trust. For years, Russia did not invest in training personnel that would be able to make the most of EU-Russia relations through this platform. This ended up frustrating both the EU and Russia, although for different reasons: Beforewhen the PCA reached the end of its initial ten-year period, Russian analysts and officials called for an upgraded agreement, lamenting Russia's subordinate role.

According to them, the PCA was an old mechanism, established in times of Russian weakness, which would have to be reformed recognising to Russia a prominent role in European affairs. These four spaces are in the areas of economic relations; freedom, security and justice; external security; and research and education.

The EU granted Russia a different agreement than the one offered to other countries in Eastern Europe through the European Neighbourhood Policy, hereby recognising its special status. This was particularly visible in the area of external security, which among the four common spaces, turned out to be the most problematic.

Despite there being plenty of areas for cooperation — such as the Balkans, conflict prevention and crisis management — not all Member States were ready to consider Russia as a partner in the common neighbourhood, where major differences of approach were evident, especially towards the so-called frozen conflicts.

Russia objected to what it regarded as EU interference in its backyard while the EU refused to concede that Moscow had any special rights in the common neighbourhood [10]. Like the PCA, the Common Spaces had numerous benefits, facilitating cooperation on a number of issues. But it is also true that the West never considered doing this on the basis of principles other than those of liberal democracy [11]. The Common Neighbourhood — the litmus test of a dysfunctional relation When the European Neighbourhood Policy ENP was launched in in light of the perspective big bang enlargement ofRussia showed little interest in the initiative.

Secondly, the fact that the EU strongly pushed the EaP initiative after the outbreak of the Russo-Georgian war of August sent an equivocal message. Usovsky confirmed the authenticity of the emails. Finland should not desire NATO membership, rather it should preferably have closer military cooperation with Russia. Such decisions will not be left to Russian generals. Requesting an explanation, Romania's foreign ministry stated that "the threat of using a Russian strategic bomber plane by a Russian deputy prime minister is a very grave statement under the current regional context.

Putin pointed out that there will be consequences, that Russia will have to resort to a response of the military kind and re-orientate our troops and missiles.

Parliamentary Defense Committee chairman Allan Widman stated, "The old military doctrine was shaped after the last Cold War when Sweden believed that Russia was on the road to becoming a real democracy that would no longer pose a threat to this country and its neighbors. Brigadier General Meelis Kiili stated, "The best deterrent is not only armed soldiers, but armed citizens, too.

Relations between the U. Brian Whitmore of Radio Free Europe stated that the case "illustrates the Kremlin's campaign to intimidate its neighbors, flout global rules and norms, and test NATO's defenses and responses. She said that the UK Government would "consider in detail the response from the Russian State" and in the event that there was no credible response, the government would "conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom" and measures would follow.

Use of migration issues[ edit ] In Januaryseveral Finnish authorities suspected that Russians were enabling migrants to enter Finland, and Ylethe national public-broadcasting company, reported that a Russian border guard had admitted the Federal Security Service 's involvement.