Ruxit is real: Russia’s exit from Europe

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Series Details 27.02.15
Publication Date 27/02/2015
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Leaving aside a few brief moments in the Russian policy discourse of the 1990s, post-Soviet Russia has always thought of the country’s role as being with Europe, but not of Europe. Dating from the times of the Helsinki process, which led to the founding of the OSCE, a favoured metaphor in Soviet and Russian thinking was the inclusive notion of a 'common European house' from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

That chapter is closing now, as the Russian leadership abandons its own idea of inclusiveness.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia has never really wanted to be of Europe, because the continent is now defined in political terms by the European Union and its rationale, norms, and processes. As former Warsaw Pact countries and the previously Soviet Baltic republics have turned to the West, the EU has expanded East and now shares borders with Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. With the Ukraine war, Putin’s Russia also seems to have stopped wanting to be with Europe, because it feels its claim to remain a first-rate power has been disrespected, and that the absence of a show of force allowed its interests to be overlooked.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Russian resurgence: how the Kremlin is making its presence felt across Europe
ESO: Background information: Russia: home and abroad
ECFR: ECFR View from the Capitals: How should Europe respond to Russia?

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