A More European Russia for a More Secure Europe

2017-05-10, by Edited by Javier Morales, from Fundación Alternativas

The conflict in Ukraine, which has caused more damage to relations between the West and Russia than any other event since the end of the Cold War, is a focal point of instability that threatens the wellbeing of the EU. The time has come to renew the Union’s strategy towards Russia, an effort that will entail not only the thorough analysis of long-term European objectives needed to make EU policy more efficient and bring it into line with European interests and values, but also a recognition of diplomatic blunders made at the onset of the Ukrainian crisis. Rather than entering into a new Cold War focused on Russian containment, the EU should accept Moscow as the great power that it is and a potential partner in the construction of a space of shared security. The best way to ensure long-term continental security and stability would be for Russia to increasingly feel and become more a part of Europe and for Europe to make a sincere effort to get to know its Russian neighbour better.

Executive Summary:

The conflict in Ukraine, which has caused more damage to relations between the West and Russia than any other event since the end of the Cold War, is a focal point of instability that threatens the wellbeing of the EU.

The time has come to renew the Union’s strategy towards Russia, an effort that will entail not only the thorough analysis of long-term European objectives needed to make EU policy more efficient and bring it into line with European interests and values, but also a recognition of diplomatic blunders made at the onset of the Ukrainian crisis. Rather than entering into a new Cold War focused on Russian containment, the EU should accept Moscow that it is a potential partner in the construction of a space of shared security.

The best way to ensure long-term continental security and stability would be for Russia to increasingly feel and become more a part of Europe and for Europe to make a sincere effort to get to know its Russian neighbor better.

The strategy proposal includes short- medium- and long-term measures organized around four key points: First, a negotiated settlement of the Ukrainian conflict, that all the parties are involved into the implementation of the Minsk II agreement, and recognize that military is not a viable solution; Second, a pan-European dialogue at the institutional level to ensure global security, to ensure OSCE’s role in security and make the European Neighborhood Policy flexible enough to accommodate the aspirations of countries; Third, to strengthen the EU-Russia economic and trade partnership, so as to maintain a long term peaceful  and stable relationship; Fourth, better understanding between the societies of the EU and Russia, to foster direct dialogue, relax visa policies and strengthen cooperation agreements between  universities in EU countries.


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