International Affairs & Foreign Policy

EU-Russia relations: push back-constrain-engage. European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell speaks during a news conference on EU-Russia relations at the European Commission headquarters, in Brussels, in June 2021.

EU–Russia Relations 30 Years After the Collapse of the Soviet Union: The Art of Managing Tensions

The European Union developed a strongly idealist foreign policy in the post-Cold War international environment where liberal values and a rules-based order seemed to be the only path ahead. It is now struggling to adjust to a world where rivalry and antagonism are a normal part of international affairs. The fundamental disagreements between the EU and Russia over democratic values and European security are most likely to persist during Russia’s current regime, possibly beyond. A unified, clear-eyed EU approach to Russia could make an important contribution to keeping tensions under control.

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REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Scanpix

How to Think About the China-Russia Partnership

Since the conclusion of the Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation in 2001, the balance of power between China and Russia has appreciably shifted in favour of the former, but their common definition of the enemy and the complementarity of their core interests remains as strong as it ever was.

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Dialogue with Russia. Russia Needs to Reset Relations with the West.

Moscow’s resurgent foreign policy and the undemocratic rule of President Vladimir Putin ended the relatively friendly relations that had been possible between Russia and the West in the 1990s. In the seven years since Russia annexed Crimea and started a war of attrition against Ukraine, the security situation in the transatlantic region has continuously deteriorated. The Kremlin has demonstrated hostility towards the West, crises and security issues have continued to multiply instead of being resolved, and the risk of outright conflict has come close to Cold War peaks. There is an obvious and urgent need to lower tensions, but Moscow prefers to demonstrate its readiness to escalate.

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Responding to a Dictator’s Stunts: A No-Thrill Flight Without a Destination?

It is quite extraordinary to see a state being rebuffed by Hamas, berated by the Ryanair CEO, admired by a boss of a Russian state propaganda outlet and prompting an immediate response from the EU that goes beyond “deep concern”—all within 36 hours of a major civil aviation incident. Whatever the reaction, we must give it to them: the regime in Minsk played by the “book of rogues” as a deserving and almost exemplary disciple of its big brother in Moscow. Can it be stopped from attempting similar stunts in the future? Probably not, so we will have to be prepared.

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Alexander Stubb: I See the Baltics and the Nordics as One Entity

After seeing the world through the lenses of Finnish politics, experiencing the specifics of Nordic cooperation and shaping the future of the European Union, Alexander Stubb is back in academia. He considers himself a big fan of the Baltics and the Nordics, but not of regionalisation of the European Union, even though he was one of the initiators of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

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The border between Sweden and Norway at Kornsjø has been closed in an effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Nordic Cooperation Troubled by Loss of Political Weight

Nordic cooperation constitutes one of the oldest and most traditional forms of regional interaction in Europe. Based on joint values and interests, it builds primarily on consultation, coordination and harmonisation without affecting the sovereignty of individual countries. Despite its achievements, Nordic cooperation currently faces various challenges and problems in regard to its political relevance which have become particularly apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, its future is not all gloom-ridden.

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Dovilė Budrytė: All Is Well if Nobody Starts Asking for More Prestige than Others

The three small states on the shores of the Baltic Sea are not geopolitical heavyweights in the global arena but working together they manage to achieve their strategic goals. Though the Baltic three seem to be destined to remain close, some rifts and open dissatisfactions have appeared and might once more damage the currently warm relations, says Dr Dovilė Budrytė, a professor of political science at Georgia Gwinnett College (U.S.).

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