A Critique to EU´s (Lack of) Strategy towards Russia
(Kritika (nedostatku) stratégie EÚ smerom k Rusku)
Politické vedy, Volume 22, Number 2/2019, pages 137-158
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
SIMIONOV, L. M. - PASCARIU, G. C. 2019. A Critique to EU´s (Lack of) Strategy towards Russia. In Politické vedy. [online]. Vol. 22, No. 2, 2019. ISSN 1335 – 2741, pp. 137-158. Available at: http://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2019.22.2.137-158
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the failure to break “Russia’s black box” led the EU to misinterpret Russia’s weakness for a willingness to transform into a Western model of development. Therefore, EU’s ability to predict political events in Russia has not been great of late, resulting into failing soft-power strategies that weight heavily on European security. The current paper seeks to provide a critique to EU’s approach and attitude towards Russia over the past decades by analysing its specific agenda, policies, actions and discourse; subsequently, the paper aims at identifying the main inconsistencies in the European goals and actions, as well as at highlighting the major challenges that hinder the consolidation of a long-term strategy towards EU’s most important neighbour. Hence, the conducted analysis finds that in order to enhance its security and especially that of its eastern members, the EU should redefine its strategy towards Russia by going beyond the personalistic (“leader fixation”) and missionary (change Russia to its own image) approach by perceiving Russia for what it is, not for what it should be. The findings suggest that a proper strategy towards Russia can only be based on a long-term vision coupled with a thorough understanding of the partner’s motivations and interests.
Key words: personalistic approach, missionary approach, threat perception