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  • Author: Stefan Meister
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The return of Vladimir Putin as Russia's president and the probable end of Dmitri Medvedev's modernization project will increase the alienation within German-Russian relations. Germany's modernization partnership with Russia has produced limited results because the two sides have different views on the cooperation. While the German side wants to develop common projects of good practice which will modernize the Russian economy and politics, the Russian side is interested in technology transfer. The interest in and knowledge of Russia among German decision-makers is decreasing. Germany lacks vision and concepts on how to influence developments in Russia. This is also due to the resistance of the current Russian elite towards implementing political reforms. As a result, Russia is losing its most important advocate in the EU (also regarding energy policy). This will have a negative impact on EU-Russia relations because the EU lacks leadership on Russia. Ongoing changes in Russian society, which challenge the Putin system, will present an opportunity to find new allies in Russia for cooperation and modernization, which may increase Germany's interest in its large neighbour. But this will call for a more balanced approach between the Russian elites and society in Germany's Russia policy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Social Stratification, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Cooperation between the EU and Russia in the field of energy efficiency has come under the spotlight in the past two years. In Europe and Russia alike, enthusiasm and expectations are rising that energy efficiency will become an area for successful cooperation including the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernization and other frameworks for cooperation. Yet, the practicalities of that cooperation can still be characterized as being in the "pilot phase". This has become apparent in most of the interviews conducted during this study. Despite the enthusiasm, there is a noticeable and recurring feeling of uncertainty over how the cooperation might turn out in practice and whether the declared goals and intentions will be matched by material results. At the same time, the view that was also commonly expressed was that the actors involved in the cooperation activities were ready and willing to steer cooperation forwards onto a more project-oriented footing, not focusing on merely talking and exchanging views and experiences.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Mikael Mattlin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A vigorous debate is raging on the EU's normative roles in the global context. The EU actively promotes its political values outside of the Union, especially with regard to prospective accession countries. Yet, a normative foreign policy approach encounters considerable challenges when confronted with major powers, such as China and Russia that do not always share the political values promoted by the EU. Attempts at pursuing a normative policy towards these countries often come across as unserious or half-hearted. This paper discusses EU normative policy towards China, identifying loss of the moral high ground, conflicting interests of EU members and lack of leverage towards China as the three main factors hampering it. The paper argues that instead of a half-hearted offensive normative approach towards China, the EU may be better off with a more determined policy of defensive normativity. More broadly, the EU faces a stark choice between its desire to be a Normative Power and its wish to be a Great Power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The adoption of the new energy efficiency legislation in Russia in 2009 has led to anticipation that a new exciting avenue of cooperation is about to open up in Russia-EU relations. The EU has been called upon to support the Russian initiatives as they would make its energy relations with Russia more stable. Furthermore, because both Russia and the EU are working towards the same goal of making their respective economies more energy efficient, the two are natural partners. This partnership is often postulated in terms of transferring European investments and technologies to Russia‚Äôs emerging energy efficiency market.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe