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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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    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.

  • 01February 2002

    Due to its history, location, and its position as a backward region in the midst of the Baltic Sea region, the Russian autonomous province of Kaliningrad is arguably the most controversial entity in post-Cold War Europe. It is an exclave cut-off from mainland Russia by Lithuania and Poland.

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    01February 2002

    Having devoted the last quarter of 2001 to negotiations on a whole corpus of legal, administrative, social and financial provisions, the Institute is once again operational as an autonomous agency of the Union, financed by the fifteen Member States but still completely independent in the choice of issues it works on and its output.

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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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    01March 2000

    This paper is about the potential consequences for European security of extending EU border policies to central and eastern Europe (CEE), a process currently taking place as the European Union moves towards eastward enlargement. Its central argument is that an inherent tension is growing between EU internal and external security policies in the region to its East.

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    01November 1999

    This paper analyses one of WEU’s several types of membership while addressing the issue of participation of WEU Associate Members in the EU decision-making process for Petersberg operations. European Members of NATO which are not members of the EU (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, and Turkey) are Associate Members of WEU, with which they maintain a close relationship.

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    01July 1999

    Following an approach adopted by WEU well before other European security organisations, the Institute has devoted part of its research to regions that do not yet include full member states of either the EU or NATO. After the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, the CFSP will only have sense and credibility to the extent that it addresses the concerns of third countries, which will put the EU’s force of attraction as well as its conviction to the test.

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    01November 1998

    The Baltic Sea area has for centuries been a hub of international activity and exchange, embodied in particular by the Hanseatic League, with resulting conditions of intense cooperation and shared prosperity. It is therefore not surprising that, contrary to widespread fears, the situation in the region did not break loose after the bitter divisions imposed by the Cold War: in more ways than one, the region constitutes another 'mediterranean' area, with a potential for political solidarity and common security.

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