Principled Pragmatism in Practice

The EU’s Policy towards Russia after Crimea


As the EU’s relations with Russia remain at an all-time low and continue to be in a state of paralysis, marked by de-institutionalisation, inertia and estrangement, the EU’s policy towards Russia seems up for review. By taking stock of the implementation of the EU’s Global Strategy and the five principles that are guiding EU-Russia relations, this volume provides a forward-looking angle and contributes to a better understanding of the current EU-Russia relationship and the prospects for overcoming the existing deadlock. By bringing together European and Russian scholars and adopting an interdisciplinary perspective that combines insights from EU studies, international relations, and European and international law, the book provides a comprehensive and holistic view on the state of affairs in EU-Russia relations.

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Fabienne Bossuyt, Ph.D. (2010), Aston University and Ghent University, is Professor of EU External Policies at the Department of Political Science at Ghent University. She specialises in EU relations with the post-Soviet space, and has published widely on this topic.
Peter Van Elsuwege, PhD. (2007), Ghent University, is Professor of EU law and Jean Monnet Chair at Ghent University. He is also Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin campus). His research focuses on the law of EU external relations.

List of Abbreviations

List of Illustrations

Notes on Contributors

General Introduction From Strategic Partner to Strategic Challenge: In Search of an EU Policy towards Russia
  Peter Van Elsuwege and Fabienne Bossuyt

part 1
The Minsk Agreements and the Sanctions Regime in EU-Russia Relations
1 The Minsk Agreements Has the Glimmer of Hope Faded?
  Sebastiaan Van Severen

2 The role of EU Member States and the Future of EU-Russia Relations Disentangling the role of Germany and the Netherlands in EU Decision-Making on Relations with Russia since the Ukraine Crisis
  Tony van der Togt

3 Two Monologues Don’t Make a Dialogue The EU’s and Russia’s Strategic Narratives about the Minsk Agreements and Sanctions Regime
  Irina Petrova

4 The Punitive Effect of the EU’s Restrictive Measures against Russia A Help or a Hindrance for Principled Pragmatism?
  Alexandra Hofer

5 The EU-Russia Sanctions Regime before the Court of Justice of the EU
  Kirill Entin

6 The Impact of the Adjudication of Sanctions against Russia before the Court of Justice of the EU
  Celia Challet

part 2
EU-Russia Relations and the Shared Neighbourhood
7 Armenia A Precarious Navigation between Eurasian Integration and the European Union
  Laure Delcour and Narine Ghazaryan

8 The EU and the De Facto States of the East European Periphery Constraints in International and European Law
  Benedikt Harzl

9 The EU’s and Russia’s Visa Diplomacy in a Contested Neighbourhood
  Igor Merheim-Eyre

part 3
EU Resilience to Russian Threats
10 The EU’s Concept of Resilience in the Context of EU-Russia Relations
  Elena Pavlova and Tatiana Romanova

11 The EU’s Energy Relationship with Russia Between Resilience and Engagement
  Marco Siddi

12 Addressing Cyber Security Threats from Russia in the EU
  Andreas Marazis

part 4
Selective Engagement with Russia
13 Countering Transnational Security Threats: Prospects for EU-Russia Cooperation in an Era of Sanctions
  Olga Potemkina

14 Conditions for Effective Selective Engagement Greening Russia’s Energy Sector
  Niels Smeets

15 The Arctic as a Micro-Cosmos for Selective Engagement between the EU and Russia?
  Thomas Kruessmann

part 5
Supporting Russian Civil Society and People-to-People Contacts
16 Principled Pragmatism and Civil Society in the EU Policies Towards Russia
  Elena Belokurova and Andrey Demidov

17 A Crisis or a Turning Point? EU Cultural Relations with Russia after Crimea
  Domenico Valenza

18 The Integration of Russia in the European Higher Education Area Challenges and Opportunities
  Natalia Leskina

 General Conclusion The Five Guiding Principles for the EU’s Relations with Russia: In Need of Revision?
  Fabienne Bossuyt and Peter Van Elsuwege


The book will appeal to students, scholars and policy-makers interested in better understanding the EU-Russia relationship. It offers an interdisciplinary perspective, combining EU studies, European and international law and international relations.
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