Joint Communication on EU-Russia relations – Push back, constrain and engage

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Series Details JOIN (2021) 20
Publication Date 16/06/2021
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Communication published jointly by the European Commission and the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on 16 June 2021, setting out a number of recommendations on how to strengthen the implementation of the EU's policy concerning Russia.

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This Joint Communication reviews the state of implementation of five principles guiding those relations:

  • Full implementation of the Minsk Agreement;
  • Strengthened relations with the EU's eastern partners and other neighbours;
  • Strengthened resilience of the EU;
  • Selective engagement with Russia on issues of interest to the EU;
  • People-to-people contacts and support to Russian civil society.

It proposes that the European Union simultaneously pushes back, constrains and engages Russia, with the aim of moving towards a more constructive engagement and political commitment by the Russian leadership. This is seen as indispensable to turn the existing tide affecting the relationship between the two sides.

The Communication addresses a request made by the European Council in May 2021 on laying out of policy options for the relations between Russia and the European Union (EU). The recommendations aim to inform a debate on EU-Russia relations during the European Council meeting in June 2021.

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Reuters, 15/06/2021: EU's new strategy on Russia: push back, constrain, engage
Euronews, 16/06/2021: EU must be 'more robust and resilient' against Russian attempts to undermine it, says Borrell
TASS, 16/06/2021: EU’s Russia strategy authors have problems with history and sense of reality — diplomat
The Guardian, 16/06/2021: EU-Russia relations expected to get even worse, says bloc’s top diplomat
Reuters, 16/06/2021: EU's chief diplomat expects ties with Russia to deteriorate further
RFE/RL, 16/06/2021: EU Foreign-Policy Chief Says It's Time To 'Push Back' Against Russia
The Irish Times, 16/06/2021: EU ties with Russia may deteriorate further, says foreign policy chief
Bloomberg, 16/06/2021: EU’s Russia Strategy Ignores Germany’s Nord Stream 2 Issue
EurActiv, 16/06/2021: EU should prepare for ‘further downturn’ of relations with Moscow, says Borrell
Politico, 16/06/2021: EU’s Borrell on Russia: Prepare for relations to get worse

European Commission: Press Release, 16/06/2021: EU-Russia relations: Commission and High Representative propose the way forward
EU EEAS: Facts and figures about EU-Russia relations (16 June 2021)
EU EEAS: Remarks by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the press conference presenting the Joint Communication on EU-Russia relations (16 June 2021)

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