Relations between Russia and Europe to never be the same again

Relations between Russia and Europe to never be the same again

Russia's Permanent Representative to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, spoke about the impossibility of restoring the former relations between Moscow and Brussels.

"This is not about restoring what we had before. If we have some similar approaches with the European Union today, a return to what is called the ‘business as usual’ formula is unnecessary and impossible. These will be reconsidered equitable partnership relations devoid of superficial elements. There will be fewer slogans and, hopefully, more content," TASS cited him as saying.

Recall that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow's policy is based on the idea that "the progressive development of equal and mutually beneficial relations between Russia and the European Union is in the interests of both sides". 

"Especially since many challenges and threats, including an unprecedented surge of terrorism and extremism, require the establishment of joint work. We do not see a reasonable alternative to the formation of the spheres of ​​economic and humanitarian cooperation," he added.

The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza said that Russia and the EU need to start a good, serious dialogue. "There is a dialogue between the EU and Russia at the expert level, but it is unsystematic, worsened by the confrontation between Russia and the West. It is necessary, of course, to engage in dialogue at the expert level with defined criteria, goals and objectives, and then to conduct a political dialogue," he explained.

"It is impossible to keep such a huge interstate structure as relations between the EU and Russia frozen. Dialogue is the primary task," Suzdaltsev noted.

However, he pointed out that Europe currently has too scarce political resources for the full restoration of relations with Russia. "The US monopoly influence on Europe's foreign policy is the reason: it discusses each step with Washington, we have seen it  during the introduction of sanctions. But at the same time, of course, we need to take into account the fact that Europe still tends to have its own policy," the expert concluded.

The head of the Center for Strategic Development of the CIS Countries under the RAS Institute of Europe, Alexander Gusev, in his turn, pointed to the need to review the strategy of ensuring European security. "EU countries have built a modern system of European security on the principles of Atlanticism, where the main function of protecting almost the whole of Europe is carried out by the Americans. This is beneficial for the Europeans, because they do not need to spend large sums of money on defense systems," he recalled, noting that, probably, the military aspect of Russian-EU relations won't be the same again.

Gusev also drew attention to the completion of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Russia and the European Union in 2010. "This agreement has not been prolonged, so right now nothing connects us with the EU except for trade relations with specific countries. The current problems in the military, political, economic and energy spheres of our cooperation are questioning the further strategic cooperation between Russia and the EU. Nevertheless, the European Union includes 28 states out of 54, so we have a reserve," the expert stressed.

According to Gusev, the European Union has enough political resources to restore relations with Russia, but it lacks the desire to do it. "As for Russia, there are a number of countries with which we maintain close relations, for example, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic," the head of the Center for Strategic Development of the CIS Countries under the RAS Institute of Europe concluded.