Russia remains a natural partner for the EU and a strategic player for combating regional and global challenges. Russia is the EU’s largest neighbor. It is a key player in the UN Security Council, a member of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Due to history, geographic proximity and cultural links, Russia is one of the key players in Europe and its neighborhood. Russia is also a major supplier of energy products to the EU and a large dynamic market for EU goods and services, with considerable economic growth. Today, after the relations have soured so much, it is clear that Moscow and Brussels need to formulate and promote a new pattern of interaction having in mind how closely they are connected historically, economically and politically. Russia remains a key European state and thus an inevitable partner and interlocutor for the European Union despite all persistent problems in their relations, and this requires a certain level of good faith and optimism. The European Union should seek new forms of cooperation with Russia and in doing so Brussels should be sensitive to Russian interests and explore the areas in, which both sides can benefit from improved relations. Initially, dialogue between the EU and Russia  should be part of selective cooperation. The notion of selective cooperation should have a concrete meaning and draft proposals, that will gradually expand the issue of selective cooperation.


  1. Creation of a functioning new mechanism between the European Union and Russia that is not dependent on the consensus of all 27 Member States. The old German-French-Russia troika has caused too much ill ease among the states of Central Europe. The European Union should form a core group of European states and gives them responsibility for EU-Russia policy;
  2. Conceptual development of a joint missile defense system to provide equal protection for Europe and Russia against potential attacks by rogue states. Also, joint space research to prevent an arms buildup in space;
  3. Renewable of the Western energy alliance with Russia with the dual goal of ensuring long-term security for Russian energy deliveries to the West and providing Russia with Western technologies for the modernization of its energy complex. Ensuring reliable energy supplies in the short and long term, increasing energy efficiency, securing long term investment, opening up energy markets, diversifying the range of imports and exports of energy products, enhancing the technological base of the energy sector of the economy, developing the legal basis for energy production and transport, ensuring the physical security of transport networks. There should be an establishment of gas consortia between Western and Russian energy groups to prevent pipeline and LNG wars in Eurasia;
  4. Development of an EU-Russian plan for modernizing Siberia and Artic as a practical tool for achieving the objective of the energy alliance. This plan would not only promote economic cooperation, but also codify the strategic value of Russian resources for Europe’s future prosperity.
  5. Close cooperation between the European Union and Russia on reforming international organizations such as the United Nations, the WTO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The effectiveness of the United Nations could be bolstered by developing a common stance on key challenges and avoiding the gridlock of the a Security Council veto; and partnering to end civil wars and regional disputes.
  6. The EU and Russia should consider the possibility of an ‘ecological alliance’ that would allow the European Union and Russia to meet joint challenges and develop shared options for action in climate change, global warming and environmental protection. Given long common land and sea borders, interconnected biosystems and shared risks, environmental problems including waste crises can and should be addressed together. Russia boasts huge areas undisturbed by man and holds over 20% of the Earth’s water resources and forests. But while Russia is home to unique natural resources, it also suffers from a number of environmental problems with threats to biodiversity, deforestation and illegal logging, water, air and soil pollution. Many of those issues should be tackled together. With 5% of global greenhouse gases emissions, Russia is the world’s fifth largest emitter country after China, the US, the EU and India. It has high levels of emission per capita and emission intensity of its economy. It is one of the largest producer of gas, oil and coal with a poor record on energy efficiency. Cooperation between the EU and the Russian Federation should be a priority.
  7. Expansion of joint projects between the European Union and Russia including free trade zones, the dismantling of visa barriers, academic exchanges and European-Russian peacekeeping missions in the post-Soviet region, Africa etc.
  8. Joint programs to fight poverty in developing countries. The international demand for energy, food and water will not only change the global economic order but is likely to result in mass migration and resource wars. Russia can provide aid for emergency programs and thus underscores its growing responsibility for the international economy.
  9. Developing a dialogue on cybersecurity; steps to increase mutual predictability in cyberspace; segmentation of cyber issues into various ‘baskets’, substantive discussion of specific issues; ‘descandalizing’ the problem.  
  10. Cooperation on issues of bilateral and international concern including, migration, drugs trafficking, trafficking of human beings, organized crime, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, Middle East process, protection of human rights. The formulation of a joint global ‘security doctrine’ could bring Russia and the EU into a long-term alliance against international terrorism.
  11. Advancing cooperation between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) on the development of Eurasian economic integration.
  12. Cooperation on humanitarian issues, health, education and quality of life.

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