Damage Limitation and Decline in Institutional Powers: Russia’s Perception of the EU as a Security Actor 1999–2002


The report will discuss whether or not Russian interest and endorsement of the EU’s security and defense dimension repeated the overall strategic perspective of the Primakov doctrine, which aimed at counterbalancing US unipolarism by playing on the differences between the US and Europe in international affairs. I ask this question since analysts are not equivocal to this end. Some suggest that “Primakov’s fall from power has not undercut the importance of multipolarity in Russian foreign policy. By analyzing perceptions, I seek to highlight the dominating trends in the discourse on the EU in Russia. This involves a broad orientation with regard to sources. Russia has engaged in a comprehensive debate on relating to the EU and NATO within the field of security, and the report draws on vast material from the security debate within research circles and official speeches and newspaper reports. Perceptions will be linked to the interpretive approaches of damage limitation or declining institutional powers. A definition of these two approaches will be given below.