Europe in Russian Foreign Policy: Important but no Longer Pivotal Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 50, May 2010
It is now necessary to ask ourselves what place Europe holds in Russian foreign policy, given the recent developments in the latter. Indeed, Europe is by far Russia's most important partner. Nevertheless, Russia is developing a discourse of emerging state, in order to highlight the rapid loss of influence of Europeans in global affairs.
Europe is still necessary in Moscow's eyes, but is no longer sufficient on its own. Russia is anticipating Europe's marginalization, all the while knowing that its own level of marginalization will depend upon the relationship that it forges with it. It is necessary to examine how Europe has passed from being a model for Russia's development to a political competitor. It is also important to locate Europe within Russia's different foreign policy options, in order to appreciate its relative importance. This will allow us to understand the way in which Europe fits into Russia's power project, which increasing aims to have a global reach.