Putin the Great

Susan B. Glasser for Foreign Affairs explained why the West underestimated Putin In January 27, 2018, Vladimir Putin became the longest-serving leader of Russia since Joseph Stalin. There were no parades or fireworks, no embarrassingly gilded statues unveiled or unseemly displays of nuclear missiles in Red Square. After all, Putin did not want to be compared with Leonid Brezhnev, the bushy-browed septuagenarian whose record…

Digital transformation and connectivity: Prospects for economic interaction between the EU and Russia in times of sanctions?

There was a rather sober assessment of the current state of economic relations at the beginning of the discussion. Whilst the participants agreed that the economic bond between Russia and the EU is still significant for both sides, they also highlighted negative aspects and developments. The political context of the economic relations was particularly important for EU speakers. They stressed…

Why the interdependence of the EU and Russia doesn’t lead to regional stability

The book is the outcome of a research project of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, carried out during 2018-2019. Highlights: The EU and Russia depend on each other in a number of fields, including energy, trade, the financial sector and security. These connections are asymmetric and create different vulnerabilities for both sides. At best, economic interdependence between states may contribute…

Sergey Utkin: Russian debate on Europe

In a new policy brief for the European Leadership Network, Dr Sergey Utkin highlights how Russia’s unique geographical heritage has shaped its relationship with Europe and ‘the West’.  Russia is historically bound to, and culturally influenced by, Europe but it remains outside of ‘political Europe’. Black and white assumptions of assimilation or malevolence have often failed to take into account…

Russia and Europe, Visa-Free: A Pipe Dream or a Real Possibility?

In 2011, Moscow launched an initiative to found a visa-free area encompassing the EU and Russia, the move was not supported by the Europeans. Two years later, in 2013, the EU seemingly warmed to the idea and developed a list of steps to be implemented by both parties, which would culminate in visa liberalisation. The “joint steps” document stressed institutional equality between…

The EU and Russia cannot go back to “business as usual”

In Europe’s conversation about Russia, “business as usual” has become a loaded term. “We must not go back to business as usual,” warn eastern European politicians. “We are not back to business as usual,” affirm officials in Brussels. “It’s not business as usual,” echo even businesspeople, who probably rather wish it was. Even the European Parliament recently approved a report that stated:…