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Reconceptualizing 'cooperation' in EU-Russia relations

Nitoiu, Cristian (2011) Reconceptualizing 'cooperation' in EU-Russia relations. Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 12 (4). pp. 462-476. ISSN 1570-5854

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Identification Number: 10.1080/15705854.2011.643016


This paper argues that although the EU is yet to develop a common policy towards Russia, ‘cooperation’ with Russia stems from a pattern of enhanced bilateral relations with Moscow that most member states have sought to develop. These enhanced relations have been characterized by strong economic and energy security ties modelled on the approaches of big EU players such as Germany and France. Moreover, such approaches have impeded any solid practical promotion of the EU's norms and values both in Russia and its Eastern Neighbourhood – or any coherent CSDP actions, for that matter. This has happened although, rhetorically, states such as France and Germany present a highly normative discourse about the EU's role in its Eastern Neighbourhood. A second goal of this paper is to evaluate the way this pattern of ‘cooperation’ impacts on the EU's policy towards its Eastern Neighbourhood and on the geopolitics of the region. Consequently, the paper suggests that the practice of developing enhanced relations with Russia opens the way for Moscow to be viewed by the EU's Eastern neighbours as a power that can offer short-term solutions to pressing problems. At the same time, the shared framework for ‘cooperation’, which seems to inform the behaviour of most EU member states, de facto legitimizes Russia's bid to have the Eastern Neighbourhood under its sphere of influence.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: IGA: LSE IDEAS
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE IDEAS
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2015 15:48
Last Modified: 20 May 2020 02:27

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