The Russian government’s drive to modernize its economy is increasingly reflected in its foreign policy priorities, including its relations with the United States, Europe, and China and its position on Iran's nuclear program.
The Hague ruling on Kosovo's independence indirectly strengthens the position of other self-proclaimed states—from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to Nagorno-Karabakh and North Cyprus. However, legal rulings do not negate the need to find a political solution.
Europe encompasses more than just the European Union; Russians are Europeans as well. As Russia continues to evolve, it needs wide-ranging efforts at modernization, and the European Union can certainly help. Yet Russia needs to work with the entirety of the EU, not only its larger members.
The need for a strong relationship between Moscow and Brussels is clear, but Europe faces administrative and political barriers to a common policy on Russia and Russia remains unwilling to undertake the reforms that would make it more compatible with the EU.
In his first 100 days in office, Ukrainian President Yanukovych has set a positive new tone in his country's relations with Russia and reaffirmed Ukraine’s strategic orientation towards Europe.
Moldova is Europe's poorest country, and it faces the difficult task of creating the conditions necessary for sustainable development and modernization. The nation's foreign policy is focused on the realization of this aim.
European and Russian experts discuss the key issues affecting Russia-Europe relations.
Lifting visa requirements on travel from Russia to the European Union is likely to bring Russian citizens further into the institutional, normative, and cultural pathways of Europe.
For the moment, pragmatism has gained the upper hand over idealism and emotions in Russian-Ukrainian relations. As long as the two countries are willing to work together, they both have a good chance of achieving their core interests.
As a new round of Russian-EU negotiations on visa-free travel begins, the difficult task of improving the process by which citizens of Russia and the CIS obtain Schengen visas remains.