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Russia and eastern neighbours

Although the EU’s eastern neighbourhood is of strategic importance, the Union’s relations with the states of the region vary significantly.That said, there are high levels of interdependence between the EU and (virtually all of) its eastern neighbours in a number of different spheres - from trade and energy flows, to the joint management of security challenges and migration. The EU develops its policies in the region along two major strands - a strategic relationship with Russia, and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and Eastern Partnership (EaP) Policy in its relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Russia is the EU’s biggest neighbour – and one of its most important, but also challenging partners. Over the past 15 years, the EU and Russia have developed a deep and complex network of political ties and diplomatic contacts. Yet, Moscow’s actions in Ukraine have greatly strained EU-Russia relations in recent years: tensions around Ukraine now dominate a relationship which once was mostly built on fostering trade and energy cooperation, a security dialogue, and a process that aims at liberalising visas.Elsewhere in the eastern neighbourhood, the cornerstones of the EU policy are the Association Agreements, which contain provisions on the establishment of deep and comprehensive free trade areas. Such Agreements have been signed and are implemented by Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Relations with the other neighbours – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus – are also advancing, but on a more modest scale than the frontrunners.

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    01September 2002

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    01September 2002

    The official Polish position on the future of the European Union is characterised above all by continuity and evolution. ... Following a period of ‘uninformed enthusiasm’ in the formulation of the official position,the Polish government is trying to anticipate the role that Poland may play as a future member,albeit a member of somewhat limited potential.

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    01May 2002

    Many observers have mocked the divisions among Europeans, their absence and therefore their impotence, in the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But that is to forget that it is above all the strongest player who lacks the will to act, and that today it is in particular in the European theatre that the Union’s performance, or lack of it, should be judged.

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    01March 2002

    Just as Königsberg became known for its intellectual weight, symbolised by the brain-twister how to cross the city's seven bridges without passing one of them twice; Kaliningrad is notorious for the immense problems it has to deal with, perhaps mirrored by the inconclusive ways the EU and the Kremlin are figuring out how to assist the oblast.

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    01February 2002

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    01November 2001

    In addition to the fifteen states that emerged from the Soviet collapse in 1992, four other states exist and have declared independence, but are unrecognised. These are the Pridnestrovyan Moldovan Republic (PMR) inside Moldovan borders, the Republic of South Ossetia and the Republic of Abkhazia within Georgian borders, and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in Azerbaijan.

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    01July 2001

    This paper deals with Belarus’s slide into authoritarianism, its foreign policy – especially its relations with Russia – and the European responses (or lack thereof). Whereas almost all the other states in the region have adopted Western orientations and market-driven reforms, Belarus has chosen to remain exclusively in the orbit of the Russian Federation.

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    01July 2001

    This paper analyses how the Russian top leadership’s rhetoric on security and the West evolved during and after NATO’s Operation Allied Force against Serbia in 1999. By grasping the logic inherent in political rhetoric, one can arrive at a better understanding of the messages that a political actor is trying to convey.

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