The strength of EU-Russia relations is currently being tested for solidity both regionally and globally.

Current relations between Russia and EU, which are going through a period of a direct clash of principles and interests on all systemic levels, can be best described not as going beyond a usual crisis, and more as a pervasive conflict. The multi-layered nature of the conflict makes problems in bilateral relations more difficult to mitigate than it would seem at first sight. This initial reading suggests the EU giving up Ukraine in exchange for a ‘practical’ partnership with Russia, but the situation is complex, with Russia and the EU willing to take salient risks. This logic of gambling so far has not worked in the EU-Ukraine-Russia triangle, not only because 22 out of 28 EU members are also NATO member countries, but also for several other reasons to be discussed in this chapter.

To read full text