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Research Report


Isabelle François
Copyright Date: Sep. 1, 2014
Published by: Atlantic Council
Pages: 18
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    The Ukraine crisis and the Russian annexation of Crimea have reshaped the security environment in Europe. Western experts and decision-makers are grappling with how a partner of NATO and the European Union (EU) and a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe could so blatantly challenge the post-Cold War order by annexing part of a neighboring country. And yet, the list of Russian recriminations against the European security architecture and the post-Cold War status quo is nothing new—it began years ago.

    In his 2007 Munich speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin...

  2. (pp. 2-3)

    Anti-Russian sentiments are at an all-time high in Washington and other Western capitals, while anti-Western rhetoric continues to be a solid basis for Putin’s unwavering support within Russia. Some analysts have pointed out that dislike for each other does not constitute a real policy, and that eventually Russia and the West must put aside differences to work on common interests. Although the West continues to alienate Russia through political punishments and economic sanctions, there is no place for isolation. Common interests still bind Russia and the United States³ as much as Russia and Europe. However, common challenges may not bind...

  3. (pp. 4-6)

    The EU is Russia’s leading trading partner, while Russia has been the EU’s third-largest trading partner after China and the United States.⁸ In addition, the EU is the world’s largest investor in Russia, accounting for approximately two-thirds of all Russian foreign direct investment.⁹ Common interests are broad and significant and cannot be ignored in defining how to position oneself vis-à-vis Russia’s geopolitical approach to European security. However, the EU’s dependence on Russian energy imports and Russia’s own dependence on energy exports to the EU deserves special attention in terms of European security. Diversifying markets is economically healthy and provides alternatives...

  4. (pp. 7-9)

    By contrast, the NATO-Russia relationship developed at the highest level with documents signed in 199720 and 200221 by heads of state and governments, and led to regular meetings of NATO and Russian leaderships engaging in both high level political dialogue and practical cooperation. This relationship, nonetheless, fell short of delivering the “strategic partnership” originally envisaged. The 1999 crisis over the NATO bombing campaign in Kosovo and the 2008 crisis over the Russia-Georgia war rocked the NATO-Russia relationship, but allies and Russia essentially “agreed to disagree” without fundamentally reviewing the implications of their growing differences in approaching European security. The 2014...

  5. (pp. 10-12)

    The OSCE developed out of the necessity to improve East-West relations during the détente period of the Cold War. As relations became more cooperative in the post-Cold War era, the OSCE was often overshadowed by NATO, with its military might, and the EU, with its economic resources. The OSCE worked, however, with both organizations on various European crises from the Balkans to the so-called “frozen conflicts,” and addressed nationalism, ethnic hatreds, and resulting local conflicts. The OSCE, of which Russia is a member, continues to present the unique advantage of an all-encompassing membership that includes eastern and western European states,...