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Research Report

Russia faces Europe

Dov Lynch
Copyright Date: May. 1, 2003
Pages: 111
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 7-20)

    The crisis on Iraq has challenged key features of international relations. The United States and Britain intervened in Iraq without the specific support of the United Nations, avoiding a second resolution in February 2003 precisely because they feared coercive action would be vetoed. The UN has taken a serious blow and the parameters of international law on self-defence and the use of force are being redefined by US and British actions. The crisis has also left the transatlantic relationship in tatters, with the appearance of serious divisions in Europe and inside the European Union. France, Germany and Russia coordinated their...

  2. (pp. 21-31)

    Compared with the Yeltsin era, foreign policy under Putin has reflected an unprecedented degree of coordination. This ‘concentration’ rests on two pillars.30 The first consists of greater coordination in decision-making in Moscow. Given the confusion that characterised the Yeltsin era, this is a not insignificant factor affecting Russia’s interaction with Europe. The second pillar is a consensus on the basic premises of foreign policy and the nature of international relations. The foundations of Russian policy must be clarified before discussing its substantive directions.

    Foreign policy under Putin has profited from a strong degree of decision-making coordination. Article 86 of the...

  3. (pp. 32-53)

    Before the Kosovo crisis, Russian policy to European security rested on three pillars. First, Russia sought a partnership with NATO to secure some voice inside the Alliance. The ‘Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation’, signed on 27 May 1997, provided for the creation of a Permanent Joint Council (PJC) between Russia and NATO ‘to develop common approaches to European security and to political problems’.64 The forum was to engage in three types of activities.65 Firstly, the PJC was to allow consultation on any agreed issue. Secondly, it could develop ‘joint initiatives’ on...

  4. (pp. 54-81)

    None the less, the EU and CFSP, including ESDP, are not completely devoid of interest for Moscow. While the United States, NATO, the OSCE and the United Nations are traditional directions of Russian policy, much less is known about Russian interaction with the European Union and its views on CFSP and ESDP.

    An MID statement on ‘Russian European Priorities’, released in April 2002, affirmed that ‘it is here that [Russia’s] key interests are concentrated’.135 This is far from being simple ‘official-speak’. The statement argued that Russia could not afford to ignore developments in Europe: ‘Of all the external factors, the...

  5. (pp. 82-93)

    Despite its limitations and the blows it has taken, Russia has not written off CFSP and ESDP. Russia’s approach is less urgent than it was in 2000, and Russian hopes for the strategic partnership have become more realistic. But it is exactly for these reasons that there remains fertile ground for closer security cooperation between Russia and the EU. More than that, the EU needs to develop this cooperation further.

    Why is there a need for a deeper political and security dialogue? The most important reason is that the EU and Russia will need each more with increasing urgency in...

  6. (pp. 94-95)

    In December 2001, Putin declared that Russia was seeking to change the ‘logic of interaction’ in international affairs.199 At the heart of Putin’s foreign policy lies an attempt to drag Russia out of the no man’s land in which it found itself at the end of the Cold War – neither a friend of the West nor a foe but something uncomfortably in-between. Russia’s avowed objective is to craft an ‘alliance’ with the Euro-Atlantic community. ‘Alliance’ is to be understood more as an informal regime than a formal structure. What matters most for Moscow is, indeed, changing the logic of...