The Ukrainian crisis has become the most pressing security-policy issue in Europe. It has brought a dramatic deterioration in relations between the West and Russia, and has challenged the security-policy approaches of multilateral institutions as well as individual states. The EU continues to play a central, albeit contradictory, role in the Ukraine crisis. Indeed, the EU has been represented as a source of the conflict, but also as the Western institution best suited to pave the way for a diplomatic solution. This apparent paradox can be seen as a key dimension of the crisis and of Russian–Western relations in general.
This project will analyze those two assumptions about the EU’s role in the Ukraine crisis. To play a constructive role, the EU must manage to secure core interests without being seen as “confronting” Russia, so the question of Russia’s evolving perceptions of the EU runs throughout the project. We also study the implications for Norway – an allied non-member of the EU bordering on Russia and a competing energy provider.
Norwegian Ministry of Defence