Die EU müsse das Selbstvertrauen und den Zusammenhang in seiner Russlandpolitik wieder finden, argumentiert Arkady Moshes, Analyst am finnischen Institute of International Affairs, in einem im Februar veröffentlichten Bericht für die Robert Schuman Stiftung.
Meanwhile, the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis and the invasion of Georgia indicate that „Russia is increasingly isolating itself“ from the EU, Moshes warns.
Indeed, Russia has „prioritised bilateral ties with several EU member states so openly and transparently that it has almost legitimised the right to circumvent Brussels when necessary,“ the paper states.
Moshes cites the Russia-Georgia conflict as an example of the EU’s lack of self-confidence in its dealings with Moscow. Although the EU reached a compromise with Russia and ensured the withdrawal of troops from Georgia, the analyst is disappointed that the EU simply „returned to business as usual in its relations with Russia“ after the invasion.
Indeed, Moshes worries that Moscow is under the impression that it has „regained exceptional rights in the post-Soviet space“.
He also believes that the EU’s involvement in the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis proved that „Europe’s common energy policy is nascent at best,“ a cause for concern as it shows that Europe „no longer believes that Russia, with its stagnant oil and gas production, will remain a reliable long-term supplier“ following the gas dispute.
To strengthen its common energy policy, Moshes insists that the EU has „no choice but to diversify supply“. He argues that the economic crisis might help the EU to assert itself in energy policy, with the turmoil showing that „Russia as an energy superpower is much more vulnerable to market fluctuations than it was ready to admit originally“.
To restore a spirit of partnership between the two blocs, the EU „should make it clear to Russia that it deserves respect and needs to be taken seriously,“ Moshes concludes.