Dealing with a post-BRIC Russia

I just co-authored a new ECFR report on Dealing with a post-BRIC Russia, some kind of a follow-up to the 2007 Power Audit of EU-Russia Relations. This new report deals with the impact of the economic crisis on Russian foreign policy and Moscow’s relations with China, US, the post-Soviet space and the EU. Among many other things the report argues that the EU is more united on Russia than it was a few years ago, less vulnerable to potential energy pressures, but that the EU is still underachieving in relations with Russia. The EU should stop treating Russia like a ‘small China’ and aim at more than trade-related objectives. The EU member states should better coordinate their bilateral Partnerships for Modernisation, and should also move as quickly as possible towards a visa-free regime with Russia (and EaP states), but even before, the EU that can drastically improve travel conditions through the adoption of an electronic visa system that would allow travellers who have already had a Schengen visa to get print-at-home visas.

The report has been endorsed by several foreign policy personalities in Europe. Here are some of the endorsements:

“This report is an important analysis of where Russia stands today and what opportunities this brings for the EU. It will open a much-needed and interesting debate.”

Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy; former Secretary General of NATO

“This report is extremely insightful both for its great analysis as well as policy recommendations proposed which touch upon both foreign, economic and energy policies. The report is indeed a real working agenda for the European Union.”
Massimo D’Alema, President, Italianieuropei Foundation; President, Foundation for European Progressive Studies; former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister

“The report offers a shrewd assessment of Russia’s recent achievements and failures – and a forecast of Russia’s future challenges. A broader audience – both within and outside EU (including those within Russia) – will certainly benefit from this comprehensive and honest analysis of what Russia should, can, will and will not achieve in the coming years.”

Sergei Guriev, Rector of the New Economic School, Moscow

“A well-researched and panoramic survey of the Russian regime’s stagnant, self-destructive and malignant approach at home and abroad. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Russia, and impatient for a more robust EU policy to its eastern neighbours.”

Edward Lucas, International Editor, The Economist

“This is a very timely study on a changed Russia facing stagnation and many unresolved problems under the renewed leadership of Vladimir Putin. It is time for the EU to develop a coherent strategy to engage a “post-crisis Russia” likely to act more soberly and pragmatically. The proposed options for a “pro-active EU policy on Russia” provide an excellent starting point for European policy-makers.”

Dr. Andreas Schockenhoff, Coordinator of German-Russian Inter-societal Cooperation of the German Federal Foreign Office, MP and Deputy Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group

“The EU can and should have good relations with Russia; this ECFR report indicates what the priorities should be. Wishful thinking needs to be abandoned, yet respect for universal values strengthened, as Europe re-engages Russia into closer cooperation.”
Adam D. Rotfeld, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-Chairman of Polish-Russian Group on Difficult Matters

“A very timely and much-needed document.”

Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia