As the sober National Interest warns that America and Russia are “stumbling to war,” roughly four Western scenarios compete to explain where we stand in the year-old Ukraine crisis. Let’s call them the McCain, Mearsheimer, Motyl, and Merkel theses of, respectively, Russian aggression, Russian hegemonic privilege, Russian decline, and Russian paranoia. (Part 1 of 2)
Greece’s new Syriza government may alarm Brussels, but there is more behind Greece’s affinity for Russia than can be explained by party alliances alone – as polls have shown, keeping Athens in line on Russia policy may be trickier than expected.
Germany’s old Russia policy, an attempt to build a “modernizing partnership,” is dead and should be buried. The beginning of 2015 saw Berlin searching for a new way forward, informed by recent events.
Even as the future of the European Union’s neighborhood remains under threat, a few developments on the EU periphery – in Ukraine, Romania, and Serbia – show that civil society and rule of law are making inroads in post-Communist kleptocracies.
The main cause of the conflict between Russia and the West lies in the internal legitimization deficit of Putin’s own system. A closer cooperation with Moscow’s Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) would not only undermine the EU’s values – the Kremlin is simply not interested. A reply to Mark Leonard’s and Ivan Krastev’s “The New European Disorder.”