Much has recently been written on EU-Russian relations, and Russia often appears to have dominated the European foreign policy agenda during the last two years.
Both analysis and policy-making have focused overwhelmingly on the issue of energy. Europe’s relations with Russia have in this sense become emblematic of the tension that is widely presumed to exist between principle and self-interest.
While such a focus is understandable, this paper argues that the EU must develop a longer-term vision towards Russia that more fully comprehends the complex relationship between Russia’s authoritarian drift and European foreign policies.
The EU must lift its eyes from the challenges of the immediate juncture – with negotiations due for a new EU-Russia Strategic Partnership Agreement – and understand better how these flow from underlying political changes.
This paper seeks to contribute to the debate on this topic by suggesting that Russia’s deep-seated political reconfiguration requires the EU look beyond matters of energy security and stake out a more coherent prioritisation of its objectives towards Russia.
With the support of: