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Christopher Sulkowski GOVT S-1729

Is Russias Regional Foreign Policy Meant to Undermine the EU?

Churchill argued that national interest is the key to understanding Russia. However, according to

Tsygankov, alarmists and skeptics oppose each other on the topic. The former consider Russian

foreign policy to be aimed at regaining legitimacy as a world power by breaking up the western

liberal order, while the latter believe that most Russian posturing on the international scene is

nothing less than an empty threat to cover for their internal economic and political struggles.

This essay discusses whether the current Russian foreign policy is meant to undermine the

European Union, initially considering the alarmists concerns in the context of the states recent

campaign in Europe of military intimidation, disinformation, and financing of far-right parties.

This position is then put in contrast with the skeptics point that Russia maintains a

fundamentally defensive posture and is weakened by its domestic economy. Finally, this paper

argues that the alarmists are right and that Russia is indeed trying to destabilize the EU, in a bid

to reduce its effectiveness as a multilateral institution so that the Kremlin may return to a system

of bilateral relationships in the region.

Sources:
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- Larrabee, F. Stephen, Stphanie Pzard, Andrew Radin, Nathan Chandler, Keith Crane, and
Thomas S. Szayna. 2017. Russia and the West after the Ukrainian Crisis: European
vulnerabilities to Russian pressures. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
- Orenstein, Mitchell A., and R. Daniel Kelemen. 2016. Trojan Horses in EU Foreign Policy.
JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies 55 (1): 87102.
- Walt, Stephen M. 2015. Why Arming Kiev Is a Really, Really Bad Idea. Foreign Policy.
Available from <https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/09/how-not-to-save-ukraine-arming-kiev-
is-a-bad-idea/> Accessed 13 July 2017.
- Siddi, Marco. 2016. The EUs gas relationship with Russia: solving current disputes and
strengthening energy security. Asia Europe Journal 15 (1): 107117.
- Tsygankov, Andrei P. 2011. Preserving Influence in a Changing World. Problems of Post-
Communism 58 (2): 2844.