On 7 March, the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute/International Centre for Defence and Security held a closed roundtable discussion among Estonian experts and invited guest speakers titled Plus ça change? – The way ahead for EU-Russia relations.
The seminar discussed the prospects of Russian foreign policy and international standing after the upcoming presidential elections in the country, and the positions and expectations of the EU and its key member states vis à vis Russia. The participants mostly expected a rather strong degree of continuity in Russia´s policies in the short term, inter alia towards Ukraine. In the meantime the EU´s unity, based on the five principles agreed previously, was expected to hold.
Introductory speeches were made by Andras Racz (Pazmany Peter Catholic University, Budapest, and Non-resident Fellow of EFPI/ICDS), Andrey Makarychev (University of Tartu), Anna Tiido (University of Warsaw), Paul Teesalu (Political Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia), Susan Stewart (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik) and Marco Siddi (Finnish Institute of International Affairs). The discussions were moderated by Kristi Raik(Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, ICDS) and Andras Racz.