A “Russia Strategy” – Coming soon?

November 16, 2014

In the clear absence of a “Ukraine Strategy” outside anything contained within the Association Agreement/Deep & Comprehensive Agreement, or doing just enough to insure the nation doesn’t sink economically, perhaps, eventually, a clear and defined “Ukraine Strategy” will emerge from the Europeans/West that will eventually be articulated.

However, there is also a need for a “Russia Strategy” – which is not the same thing as a “Ukraine Strategy”, though there will areas where dovetailing, overlap or line smudging may appear, at least prima facie.  The “Russia Strategy” clearly has to be “Russia-centric” just as a “Ukrainian Strategy” necessarily need be “Ukraine-centric”.

So what does a “Russia Strategy” look like?  A very good question.  How to contain Russia in its neighbourhood, without necessarily containing Russia more globally?

Is Russia a “partner”, “adversary”, or “enemy”?  Perhaps it will be all 3 in specific cases, but more generally, which category?  Whilst “partner” is not the general category most would now classify Russia within across European/western policymakers, “enemy” is probably also too strong for many.  If “adversarial” is the new basis of the relationship – and it seems very clear the Kremlin has chosen an adversarial course with regard to challenging post 1946 norms – does the relationship now become simply transactional?

Whilst these questions are not necessarily answered below – some interesting questions and thoughts to begin:

Click on the link in Sergey Utkin’s tweet.  Have a listen to panels 1 and 2.  A few hours of listening.

Is there a “Russia Strategy” to be found amongst all this?  As has long been opined at this blog, the current Kremlin approach to its neighbourhood (and the world in general) is unlikely to change in the next decade.  A strategy is therefore required.


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