Russia's Attitudes towards the eu: Political Aspects




Yüklə 428.22 Kb.
səhifə1/26
tarix29.04.2016
ölçüsü428.22 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   26


Russia's Attitudes towards the EU:
Political Aspects*


Vladimir Baranovsky

Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………….…..3

1. Background: overcoming low-profile attitudes ……………………….....5

Focus upon domestic developments…………………………………....6

Foreign policy disorientation………………………………………...…7

In search for points of reference……………………………………......9

The context of self-identification…………………………………......13

2. Views on the EU: various paradigms…………………………………....15

The EU as a model………………………………………………...….15

The EU as a partner………………………………………………...…19

The EU: a prospect for accession……………………..……………....22

The EU as a leverage……………………………………………...…..25

3. Rapprochement: rationales and limits…………………………………..28

New motives……………………………………………………….…28

Old doubts………………………………………………………..…...32

Bilateral or multilateral?……………………………….…………..….34



4. Emerging mechanisms……………………………………..……………..39

Political dialogue…………………………………………...…………39

Strategy documents……………………………………………..…….42

Summits…………………………………………………………….....44



5. Potentials for a joint agenda………………………………………….….48

Problems of organizing Europe…………………………………….....49

Zones of immediate contacts………………………………………….59

Broader context…………………………………………………….…70



6. CESDP: horizons of the Russian perception……………………………76

Legacy of the past……………………………………………………..78

Focus on NATO………………………………………………………80

Reservations and uncertainties…………………………………..…....85

Prospects of cooperative interaction……………………………....….88

7. Political challenges of enlargement……………………………………....95

Traditional attitudes………………………………………………..….95

The prominence of the political context……………………………....98

Concerns versus opportunities………………………………….....…103



8. Kaliningrad as a test case…………………………………………....…113

Existential uncertainty…………………………………………...…113

The double edge of Europeanization………………………….……..114

Russia's exclave as the EU's enclave……………………………...…117

Assessing the EU role……………………………………...……...…119

Developing interaction……………………………….…………...…122



9. After September 11: a new context for Russia EU relations?……...127

Conclusions…………………………………………………….…………...135

Introduction


This study aims at analyzing Russia's perceptions of, Russia's attitudes towards, and Russia's interaction with the EU developments as a political phenomenon.

Looking at the EU through the prism of political considerations has always been a remarkable feature of Moscow's attitudes. This was so even at the very early years of the integration in Western Europe, when its economic agenda was indisputably predominant. With time, this approach only seemed more justified and well-grounded—alongside the growing salience of political aspects in the EU evolution and the consolidation of its political personality. In relatively recent years, Russia's sensitivities were promoted by those developments that open new prospects for the presence of the EU in the international arena—in particular, its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common European Security and Defense Policy (CESDP), as well as EU enlargement.

The main goal of the study consists in promoting a better understanding of how Russia identifies its own interests related to the EU and the extent to which this affects Russia's priorities, its behaviour in the international arena, both with respect to the EU and beyond.

The analysis is focused upon political aspects of Russia's interaction with the EU; other dimensions of this problem are only addressed insofar as they play a role in shaping political motivations and assessments. The author, however, does not intend to formulate specific policy recommendations but proceeds from the rationale of promoting the engagement of both the EU and Russia to develop cooperatively their relationship. It is clear that their interaction forms a political equation in which both sides are equally important. This study focuses only on the Russian side of this equation.

Addressing even this relatively limited task poses a number of methodological challenges. There is a need to analyze what Russia's perceptions and attitudes are, why Russia has these perceptions and attitudes, whether they are adequate to the actual state of affairs on the EU side, whether they are changing and in what direction, to what extent they are translated into policy, how they affect prospects of Russia's cooperative interaction with the EU. Furthermore, specifically political aspects of Russia's interaction with the EU should be considered against a broader background. They have to be addressed in the context of Russia's attitudes and policies to the EU as a whole, on the one hand, and in terms of Russia's self-assigned broader foreign policy agenda, on the other hand.

The study does not represent a summary of diplomatic record of interaction between Russia and the EU. Rather, it aims at developing a conceptual analysis that would go beyond official documents and draw its conclusion from ideas circulating within the political class and in the society at large—in the form of statements, interviews, articles, unofficial and working papers of policy-making institutions, analytical publications, information provided by the mass media as well as opinions expressed at various conferences and discussion meetings. For understanding the dynamics and the logic of Russia's political interaction with the EU, this broad intellectual 'software' might be even more important than the official policy's 'hardware'.


1. Background: overcoming low-profile attitudes


When analyzing Russia's assessment of, attitudes towards, and interaction with the EU during the last 10 to 15 years, one could be surprised by the lack of dynamism on the part of Moscow during most of this period. Moreover, a question might even arise whether it has overlooked the most dramatic political developments of the European integration.

Indeed, the history of the latter seems to have accelerated from mid-1980s. Since that time, it has brought about more fundamental novelties than during several preceding decades. More importantly, this development has had a significant potential for affecting the international political system, gradually turning the EU into an influential actor on the world scene.

In this regard, even a brief overview looks more than impressive and invites to think about eventual implications for international relations both in and beyond the Old Continent. The European political cooperation, this 'parallel' and initially semi-legal system of foreign policy consultations, evolved into the Common Foreign and Security Policy as a 'second pillar' of the EU. The EU membership was broadened for the third time, but in contrast to the previous waves of enlargement, that one included three neutral and non-aligned states, those who had been earlier rather firm in considering this impossible. The perspective of a 'common defence' ceased to be a taboo and was officially (even if vaguely) recognized as a matter deserving attention. The Western European Union, this almost invisible and abridged shadow of the EU, attempted to resurrect, enlarged its 'family' up to 28 countries and then actually was channeled to merge with the EU. The latter engaged in a dramatic endeavor of developing its own crisis-management capability. Finally, new candidate-countries began to form a long queue for joining the Union.

Meanwhile, most of these developments did not provoke any strong political emotion in Moscow. The latter (at least until recently) paid remarkably little attention to new political realities in and around the EU. In any case, they were by no means in the centre of Moscow's political agenda. Moreover, even if comparing to the defunct USSR, post-Soviet Russia seemed less politically inclined and professionally ready to consider what this might mean for its interests. Indeed, the Soviet Union was sometimes suspicious about the integration in the western part of the continent, sometimes more positively oriented, but almost never indifferent. As far as 'new' Russia is concerned, at the beginning of the 1990s and even later it often looked apathetic with respect to the political developments generated by the EU.

This could be explained by two major reasons, one generated by Russia's domestic developments and another one related to the sphere of foreign policy.

  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   ...   26


Verilənlər bazası müəlliflik hüququ ilə müdafiə olunur ©azrefs.org 2016
rəhbərliyinə müraciət

    Ana səhifə