Push back, constrain, engage- the EU introduces a new strategy for relations with Russia
EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell presented a joint document of the EU Foreign Policy Service and the European Commission, which sets out a strategy for relations with Russia, which will be based on three principles: pushing back, constraining, and engaging.
This is stated in the released document, which will be discussed by the EU leaders at the summit in Brussels on June 24-25. On this basis, they will work out ways to further develop the EU’s policy towards Russia.
First, the EU reiterates Russia’s undermining of international law and the key principles of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, which it undertook to perform.
The document also states that Russia is trying to influence, intervene and destabilize the EU and its member states and partners, use political repression, violate human rights and fundamental freedoms to maintain the current political and economic order in the country.
Due to such actions of the Russian Federation in the prepared document brought 5 principles which were approved in 2016, they are guided by the EU in its relations with Russia:
- Full implementation of the Minsk agreements as a key condition for any significant changes in EU relations;
- Strengthening relations with the EU’s eastern partners and other neighbours;
- Increasing the resilience of the EU;
- Selective cooperation with Russia on issues of interest to the EU;
- Support of interpersonal contacts and civil society in Russia.
The European Commission and the EU High Representative propose that the European Union simultaneously push back, constrain and engage with Russia.
In its strategy, the Union will continue to oppose human rights violations and defend democratic values, in particular, at international forums.
Allegations of systematic violations of international law by the Russian Federation, in particular, in Ukraine and Georgia, will continue.
The EU will continue to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, by calling on Russia to take responsibility as a party to the conflict and to fully implement the Minsk agreements.
It is stressed that the European Union will continue to respond appropriately to the Kremlin's malicious actions, including hybrid threats, and will seek to limit the resources that the Russian government can use to pursue its harmful foreign policy.
It is a matter of more systematic and coordinated counteraction to threats from Russia, ensuring coordination with like-minded partners - NATO and the G7.
Cybersecurity, security, and strategic communication capabilities will also be strengthened. The EU will make better use of the leverage of switching to alternative energy sources.
In addition, the European Union will strengthen its support for the Eastern Partners, working on the full realization of the potential of the Eastern Partnership.
The EU wants to involve Russia in solving global issues for the world: the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the fight against climate change, as well as other environmental problems.
This strategy also offers more technical cooperation with the government on economic issues. The EU will expand people-to-people contacts, which may include visa facilitation for some Russians, as well as strengthen support for Russian civil society and human rights defenders.
The EU considers it necessary to cooperate with the Russian Federation within the framework of the Northern Dimension in the Arctic on the prevention of conflicts and regional and global issues - from Iran and the Middle East to Afghanistan, from the fight against terrorism to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.