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The Idea of a “Greater Europe” in Russian Foreign Policy: Past and Present

Journal: RUDN Journal of Russian History (Vol.19, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 438-447

Keywords : Russia; foreign policy; Greater Europe; Eurasian Economic Union; European Union;

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This article examines the notion of a “Greater Europe” in Russian foreign policy from the 1990s to the present. The idea developed as the Russian government sought to establish its national and civilizational identy in the wake of the USSR’s dissolution. At the turn of the 21st century, Moscow embraced the idea of a rapprochement with the rest of Europe. Pursuing the notion of “Greater Europe,” to create a single continental economic, political and cultural space, became a major diplomatic objective as it developed a strategic partnership with the European Union. However, in more recent years its outlook on the world has changed. Furthermore, after relations with Brussels deteriorated in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis and the latter’s imposition of sanctions has also affected Russian foreign policy. This article considers the emergence and evolution of the idea of a “Greater Europe”, and examines possible ways to realize this ambition. It argues that a EAEU-EU “combination” could become a basis for implementing this concept. However, any potential rapprochement can only be possible when the political barriers the EU established in its relations with Russia and the EAEU are removed.

Last modified: 2020-08-04 06:27:32