Russia 2030: A story of great power dreams and small victorious wars

Author (Person) ,
Series Title
Series Details May 2016
Publication Date May 2016
ISBN 978-1-910118-76-4
Content Type ,

The future of Europe’s relations with Russia looks bleak. The Kremlin is pursuing an increasingly aggressive foreign policy to assert itself as a great power and distract from economic woes at home. Europe can’t fix Russia, but it can influence it and lower the risk of major conflict.

Behind this growing assertiveness is Moscow’s desire to establish itself as a great power – and, increasingly, to win legitimacy at home now that it can no longer deliver rising living standards.

'Russia 2030: A story of great power dreams and small victorious wars' published in May 2016 considers how Russia and Europe’s eastern neighbours may look 14 years from now. The paper sets out five key trends that will play out in Russia and Eastern Europe, the events that could throw them off course, and what the EU should do.

It argues that Russia will become more inclined to resort to force as it modernises its military and draws lessons from recent successes on the battlefield. Russia does not want a full confrontation with the West, but a miscalculation could lead to a major clash. Russia has tripped up before, getting bogged down in Donbas after overestimating the level of popular support there.

Fluctuations in the oil price, a quagmire in Syria, reform in Ukraine, or a Russian defeat abroad could all change the rules of the game, either causing a chastened Russia to retreat – or spurring it to more aggressive action. Europe can reduce the risks by making the relationship more predictable, improving communications, and increasing the costs for Russia of its adventures overseas.

In the coming years, Russia’s main targets will be in Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine and Georgia. Europe should back these countries against Russian pressure and support reform, including by expanding the Association Agreement. However, it should recognise that its aims in the region fundamentally clash with those of Moscow, and that the best that can be hoped for in the medium term is peaceful coexistence and a more predictable relationship.

See also the related url hyperlink: Russia in 2030: The view from Europe which contains links to four articles in which experts in several European member states consider what this could mean for their countries, and for their policies towards Russia.

The four articles are:

+ A marriage of convenience? The future of Italy–Russia relations by Angelantonio Rosato
Russia is a long-time ally, and rather than engaging in EU security cooperation it wants to return to its “marriage of convenience” as soon as possible.

+ An unpredictable Russia: the impact on Poland by Piotr Buras & Adam Balcer Piotr Buras
With a raft of other crises at the EU’s doorstep, Warsaw might find it difficult to gain support for its assertive approach towards Russia.

+ Managing the unmanageable: Germany and a resurgent Russia by Gustav Gressel
In the face of large refugee inflows Germany’s insurgent parties are sympathising with Russia, even despite the country’s meddling in German domestic affairs.

+ Russia 2030: potential impact of French policies by David Cadier
France's response to the Ukraine crisis has been more active and more determined than many would have predicted, but with ongoing operations in Africa and the Middle East it should be careful not to overstretch itself

Source Link
Related Links
ESO: Background information: Could NATO go to war with Russia … and what would happen if it did?
ESO: Background information: Russian State Mobilization. Moving the Country on to a War Footing
ESO: Background information: Russia's Damaging Obsession with Cold War Myths
ECFR: Russia in 2030: The view from Europe

Countries / Regions , , , , , , ,