Reconsidering the Greater Europe Concept in the Context of the Ukrainian Crisis

Author: A. Kuznetsov

THE UKRAINIAN STORM of 2013-2014 pushed the world dangerously close to Cold War II. The coup and the bloodshed which swept the country were caused by the refusal of the Yanukovich regime to draw closer to the EU no matter what rather than by the fairly acute social, economic and political disagreements inside the country.1 The consecutive packages of anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union and coordinated, to a great extent, with the U.S. and several other non-European allies look very logical in the context of the stalled dialogue between the two key European players. It was in 2012-2013 that many of the expert community recognized an absence of a more or less noticeable progress in moving toward a visa-free regime between the EU and Russia and in settling other important bilateral issues for what it really was: the EU's unwillingness to develop equal partnership with Russia rather than technical discrepancies (according to Brussels). Its attention was riveted to the Eastern Partnership program designed, among other things, to detach CIS countries from Russia and draw new dividing lines in Europe. Is it correct to say that the anti-Russian rhetoric heard from Brussels and its active support of the radical Ukrainian nationalists who came to power in Kiev through an armed coup buried the Greater Europe idea? What is Greater Europe? This article demonstrates that it can live and flourish on the fairly strong foundation of sociocultural and economic

Alexei Kuznetsov, Deputy Director, Head, Center for European Studies, Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS); Corresponding Member, RAS; Professor, Moscow State Institute (University) of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Science (Economics);

The article was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No. 14-28-00097: Optimization of Russia's External Investment Ties in the Context of Worsening Relations with the EU), ...

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