Perspectives on EU-Russia relations

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Publication Date 2005
ISBN 0-415-33985-5
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Russia in the post Cold-War era is having to redefine itself and its relations with the rest of the world. It retains ambitions to return to the status of a great power but has yet to come terms with the new politics of networks, societies and integration. This work explores how the internal dynamics of transition have influenced Russia’s relations with the EU.

The book is organised in three parts, the first of which offers differing perspectives on EU-Russian relations. Following an introduction, chapter two presents the European perspective, which sees Russia being moulded to an EU image, that Russia should share EU values of integration and that such economic cooperation should follow EU rules. Chapter three gives the Russian perspective, emphasising the understanding of the domestic context in which Russia’s policy towards the EU has been formed. Chapter four then moves to a Member State perspective of EU-Russian relations, offering the German view which concludes that there are a number of forces that influence the relationship, be they historical or current EU political factors, but that German-Russian relations will become important only when each party sees its own self interest served by accentuating the importance of that relationship.

Part two seeks to place EU-Russian relations in context. Chapter five explores the institutional and political partnership of Russia with Europe and the broader foreign policy strategy of Putin along with the portents they might hold for regional and global security issues. Chapter six looks at the EU’s regional approach towards the countries of the Baltic Sea region - which includes three Nordic EU members, the three Baltic States and Poland, plus the northern parts of Germany - as well as the non-EU partner countries, Iceland, Norway and north-western Russia. Chapter seven examines the relationship of the Russian Federation with the EU, with particular emphasis upon the Chechen issue and Russia’s assertion - and the EU’s acceptance - that Chechnya was a matter for the Russian Federation to resolve. Chapter eight examines how Russia’s economic links with the EU, particularly those relating to trade, have evolved and how ideological constraints operate on both sides.

Part three offers three case studies. Chapter nine presents analysis of Russia’s business environment and the factors that have shaped it, beginning with analysis of foreign investment, FDI trends, and the current investment climate. Chapter nine examines the EU-Russia energy relationship and assesses whether a single or multiple policy paradigms explain the key link that energy makes in the EU-Russian relationship. The final chapter explores the role for the EU’s programmes of aid and development assistance in nurturing a healthy EU-Russia relationship.

The book will interest students and researchers of Russia and the European Union within political science, economics and business studies.

Debra Johnson is Senior Lecturer in the Business School at the University of Hull. Paul Robinson is Lecturer in Security Studies at the University of Hull.

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