Podcast host Alex Gabuev is joined by Janka Oertel, director of the Asia program at the European Council on Foreign Relations, to discuss changing attitudes in Europe toward China and Russia, and the evolving relationship between Moscow and Beijing.
The furor that followed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s threat to sever Russia’s ties with the EU wasn’t really justified: there have been none to speak of since 2014.
At the start of 2021, Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe are uniformly bad. US President Joe Biden vows to be even tougher on Russia than his predecessor Donald Trump. Josep Borrell, having made the first trip to Moscow by a EU foreign policy chief in four years, certified that Europe and Russia are drifting apart, which could lead to consequences.
Navalny’s return to Russia on January 17 has created a prominent link between Germany/the EU and Russian domestic politics—the geopoliticization of domestic politics—which neither side will be able to ignore in the future.
Russia and the European Union need to imagine a more realistic goal for their relationship: a model of neighborliness, in which the inevitable disagreements will be managed in order to prevent disruptive conflicts and damaging collisions.
The main thrust of U.S. policy toward Russia has not changed much with the advent of a new administration. U.S.-Russian interaction on strategic stability issues will go hand-in-hand with persistent condemnation and retribution for what Biden calls Russia’s determination to damage and disrupt American democracy.
There may be no reset in U.S.-Russian relations under the Biden administration, but what can be done to defuse tensions and avoid worst-case scenarios?
Extending the New START is only the first and easiest step in rebuilding the U.S.–Russian arms control system from its ruins.
One of the first foreign policy signals to come from the Biden administration has been Washington’s expressed willingness to extend the New START Treaty with Russia for another five years. Moscow, for its part, has long been ready for such an extension, without any conditions.
The pandemic world has splintered into something akin to self-sufficient national bubbles, and the crisis has shown once again that the European bubble does not include Russia.