EU - Russia relations: "try again, fail again, fail better"
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This study argues that the security dimension - broadly defined to include both more traditional military security and “soft security” – of the EU-Russia relationship is becoming increasingly important. The relationship is of strategic significance for both sides, and some important progress has been made in establishing a closer bureaucratic relationship. There is, however, a tension between this progress and a series of differences on key political issues, including energy security and crisis management. Moreover, despite some improvements, there are problems in the decision-making structures on both sides that hinder the development of a positive practical relationship.
The EU-Russia relationship is one of strategic importance. Yet it is also one which faces many complex and challenging questions, ranging from developing a common approach against terrorism and organised crime and the unresolved conflicts in Caucasia, to deteriorating confidence in their energy relations. Andrew Monaghan traces the relationship back through the 1990s to explain the difficulties in this strategic relationship, but also to point out the positive elements which are all too often overlooked.