The great unravelling: four doomsday scenarios for Europe’s Russia policy

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Series Details June 2017
Publication Date June 2017
ISBN 978-1-911544-21-0
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There is no room for complacency in Europe’s stance towards Russia and Ukraine.

+ Despite all odds, Europe has managed to remain united and firm on its policy towards Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in 2014. But what are the forces that could undermine this policy and what would be the consequences of such an unravelling? This paper presents four doomsday scenarios for how Europe’s policy towards Russia could collapse.

+ The scenarios outlined in this paper are:
1) the EU decides to enforce the Russian interpretation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine
2) the EU succumbs to Ukraine fatigue and accepts the status quo, including another frozen conflict in the neighbourhood
3) the US disengages from Ukraine and ends sanctions on Russia, throwing European policy into disarray
4) a 'grand power bargain' between Trump and Putin shatters EU unity and allows Russia to bring Ukraine into its sphere of influence.

+ To prevent any of these doomsday scenarios from unfolding, the EU must stay the course by maintaining a strong and united Russia policy. It can do this by automating the sanctions renewal process and stepping in where the US is stepping out in Ukraine.

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Related Links
ESO: Background information: Illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol: EU extends sanctions by one year
ESO: Background information: Is ‘hybrid geopolitics’ the next EU foreign policy doctrine?
ESO: Background information: Mogherini goes to Moscow but is missing in action in Ukraine
EurActiv, 27.06.17: Macron puts faith in Minsk accords

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