It's time for realism in EU-Russia ties: France's Macron | Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron urged the European Union on its post- Cold War ties with Russia and pursue "strategic relations" with. Their relations with Russia, the EU and in some cases each other are unstable and sometimes hostile. The six states participating in the EU's. For anyone interested in the future of Europe's relationship with Russia, grappling with the question of why Ukraine changed course is a crucial.
But politically, some aspire to get closer to the West, some look to Russia, and Azerbaijan keeps its distance from both. The EU and Russia have both soft and hard power instruments available to influence the direction of travel of the six. Yet both have often used their power in ways that have undermined their influence.
Russia has targeted large Russian-speaking populations in Eastern Partnership states with propaganda designed to turn them against Western institutions. But its willingness to use economic and military power against its neighbours has often alienated those who might otherwise align themselves with Russia rather than the EU culturally or economically.
Russian troops occupy parts of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and are stationed with the concurrence of the host states in Armenia and Belarus. Russia has used economic sanctions for political purposes against Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
On the EU side, the Eastern Partnership remains a programme without a clear objective. While the EU regarded the countries of Central Europe, and the Baltic States, as fully European and therefore eligible to join the Union, there has never been consensus on whether any of the former Soviet states should be given a perspective of membership however distant and hedged with conditions.European Alliance vs Russia: Europe divided
The result is that the association agreements negotiated with the most pro-EU countries Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have been treated as technocratic exercises, devoid of political implications.
And the EU has sometimes seemed willing to turn a blind eye to corrupt practices by politicians who call themselves pro-European.
Russia–European Union relations - Wikipedia
Populations that wanted their countries to integrate more closely with the EU have become disillusioned. We lost this idea that there would be an importance in investing in the image of the West in Russia. Last week, we had Victoria Nuland here, who was the former US assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasia, and Victoria had I think very nuanced short descriptions of the phase that came after the fall of the wall, which you alluded to, but then also the disintegration ultimately of the Soviet Union, and she described it in three parts.
The end of history, right? I got into this business by sitting behind Warren Christopher when I was in high school, frankly, doing a presidential classroom where Warren Christopher was being deposed on Russian food aid, a food aid to Russia, economic aid. That even held true when Putin first came to power.
He went after the oligarchs and began to bind them to the Russian State. I grew up in Germany. The wall fell when I was 13 years old.
Russia–European Union relations
Russia has come historically from a Great Power mindset, while the European Union is based around shared values. I think, historically, what Gorbachev wanted around the time of the German unification was something he called the Common European Home, and so this gets back to the Helsinki point, which James A. The members have to be democracies, and that is true of the European Union as well. If you think about Germany, the country where I was born and raised and own a passport of, it was split down in the middle and, as a result, you have populations within, certainly now, even the German public, but also the German political elite for whom one of the legs of even western foreign policy, this long idea that we would always have to at least get along with the Soviet Union, maybe accommodate, but that if something happened in the middle of the Cold War, the main target was certainly going to be Germany, and so all the more the importance of the western and US protective umbrella.
How Russia's relationship with Europe has evolved - BBC News
The way that I see it, he is using four tactical areas or four tactical principles really to make that exceptionally clear and to create more disaggregation within the European Union and within the West or in the West writ large. They see Russia in many ways as a existential threat to their existence especially through things like hybrid warfare where it may not be an overt attack. The Baltic countries fear that and have in some respects seen that, so the denial-of-service hack attack on Estonia is certainly one way.
You see Russia moving into Swedish waterways and airspace to posture, but you see it in these sort of the [fringe That is true of a number of countries, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, and, there, Russia has decided to interfere in a way or stoke existing animosities such that within many of these countries, and then Crimea and Ukraine are the extreme example, frozen conflict.
It actually mirrors the Russian tactics in our elections here in the United States and other western nations in finding internal disagreements and trying to exploit them. Freezing them in time or paralyzing them in some way, shape or form, and so, again, I think this is one example of where Russia is generally playing what otherwise look like a very weak hand.
That goes on right around the border states just as well. That is a perfectly overt version of soft power, and then what other people have now called sharp power, which is exactly the more subversive, what goes on in Facebook, the fake news pieces, the kind of things that are generated with the intent to disturb, destroy, disaggregate, those kind of things.
You mentioned a couple of countries, Hungary, Austria.
How is that impacting this dynamic? When I was at the Munich Security Conference just this past January, people there were talking about Russia in an odd refraction of what Madeleine Albright used to think about the United States, meaning, to say, in that particular region, Russia has become the indispensable nation.