In a new FES Perspective, eleven authors from the EU, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine advocate for a pragmatic policy of the EU vis-à-vis its eastern neighbors: The deep crisis in EU-Russia relations should not prevent Brussels from seeking cooperation in areas where mutual interests coincide. Opportunities exist in the economic sphere, in technical and scientific cooperation, in civil society exchange, and in global politics.
Economic cooperation is especially important in this regard:
The interdependence between the EU and Russia could not prevent the conflict, but it played its role in preventing worse scenarios. Trade and mutual investments do not form a "magic wand" that guarantees friendly relations or modernization - but they can be seen as a "safety net" that should not be given up, and should be strengthened again as soon as the opportunity arises.
The FES Perspective was authored by Elena Alekseenkova, Henrik Hallgren, Hiski Haukkala, Felix Hett, Anna Maria Kellner, Igor Lyubashenko, Florence Mardirossian, Tatiana Romanova, Tornike Sharashenidze, Maryna Vorotnyuk, and Julia Wanninger.