WHY RUSSIA CANNOT BE IGNORED ?

  1. Russia is the 12th-largest economy, with a GDP in excess of $1.5 trillion, larger than many developed economies such as Australia (N° 13), Spain (N° 14) and the Netherlands (N° 18).
  2. Russia is the world's largest oil producer, with output of 10.6 million barrels per day, larger than both Saudi Arabia (10.5 million barrels) and the United States (9 million barrels).
  3. Russia has the largest landmass of any country in the world and a population of 144 million people, the ninth largest of any country.

THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE WEAK EU FOREIGN POLICY AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Source: Carnegie Europe

The European Union’s (EU’s) foreign policy remains weak and underdeveloped.  The overall international position of the EU has weakened in the ten years since the treaty’s signing. With its emphasis on soft power, preference for legal situations, and enthusiasm for multilateral diplomacy, the EU has had trouble adjusting to a multipolar world increasingly ruled by power politics.

GEOPOLITICS AT PLAY

There are only three countries in the world that are rightly regarded as primary powers- the U.S., Russia and China. These three are the only superpowers. All others are secondary powers (Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom) or tertiary powers (India, Iran, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates).

Geopolitics

United States versus Europe

RUSSIA’S EXTERNAL INFLUENCE

Russia’s external influence is substantial and extends through most facets of society, including culture, religion, media and information, business, and politics. Russia uses hybrid methods of influence, including white, grey, and black influence operations around the world. Russia’s narrative is not limited to one mode of transmission—Russia uses most if not all aspects of civil society and public life to craft influence campaigns aimed at winning hearts and minds across Europe and elsewhere.

VISION OF RUSSIA AS A GREAT POWER

Russia has consistently described itself as a great power. At a minimum, this vision includes Russia’s desire to participate in deciding global issues and to have a sphere of influence in its region. In addition to consistently referring to Russia as a great power, Russian officials have advocated a “multipolar” vision of the world, apparently indicating that they think Russia is and should remain one of several major powers.

GLOBAL RANKING OF SOFT POWER (2018)

The Soft Power 30 is an annual ranking compiled by London-based strategy firm Portland Communications. The company evaluates the influence each country exerts over others through means other than military power. The rankings use both objective information from business and IT fields, as well as subjective criteria such as public opinion polls.

Ranking

RUSSIAN INFLUENCE IN THE NEAR ABROAD

Russian leaders have consistently articulated a policy of maintaining close links with and influence within Russia’s neighboring area. However, a major challenge in analyzing this objective is that the limits of Russia’s interests are not well defined. Some sources highlight the use of the term near abroad to describe the region in which Russia seeks the most-direct influence and control. But the near abroad does not have an uncontested geographic range.

RUSSIAN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE

EU MEMBER STATES RELATIONS WITH THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Source: European Values (2018)

Kremlin Friends: Do not feel threatened and are advocating for better relations with Russia, often regardless [of] what atrocities Moscow is responsible for. Often support Kremlin’s foreign policy objectives, such as stopping further sanctions under arguments related to appeasement or alleged business ties."

POSSIBLE OUTCOME OF NEXT EP ELECTIONS

Source: EFCR (Authors: Susi Dennison and Pawel Zerka)

Published: February 2019

With anti-Europeans on their way to winning more than one-third of seats in the next European Parliament, the stakes in the May 2019 election are unusually high.

While there are significant divides between them on substance, anti-European parties could align with one another tactically in support of a range of ideas: from abolishing sanctions on Russia to blocking the EU’s foreign trade agenda, to pulling the drawbridge up against migration.

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