This issue of The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs is available free of charge as it was prepared within a project: “Mapping Polish and Norwegian Perspective on Regional Integration in Eastern Europe,” supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants and co-financed by the Polish funds.
Mapping the Context and Asking the Questions
Moldova: On the Straight and Narrow?
Moldova has become the EU’s closest neighbour in Eastern Europe. Over the past decade, Chișinău has pursued a “European Future,” the fruits of which have been the signing of an Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU. Despite these momentous steps, strong pro-Russian sentiments and support for integration with Russia prevail with ferocity, as seen in the elections of November 2014. Territorial fractures and the breakaway de facto state of Transnistria, economic vulnerabilities and problems associated with corruption also serve to stymie Molodova’s full modernisation and pursuit of a European trajectory. The open question that prevails is whether the new governing coalition can keep the momentum or whether internal fragilities and outside pressures will have a stunting effect on Moldova’s European path.
Jakub M. Godzimirski
What are the main drivers in the energy policies of Russia and the EU and how do the recent developments in Ukraine influence these two key European energy actors and their approaches to their neighbours? Energy is discussed in a broader strategic context, in which it can be viewed as either the goal of a strategy, as with the EU, or as both a tool and a means of a strategy, as in the case of Russia.
Elżbieta Kaca, Anita Sobják
Recalibrating the Eastern Partnership: Pressure for a More Relevant Policy
If the fifth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) did not inspire reflection on its future, then the crisis and war in Ukraine did. Hence, a new Commissioner together with the new High Representative are now working on a strategic revisiting of the EU’s goals in its eastern neighbourhood. In order to prevent a major departure from the original concept of the policy, yet at the same time make it more responsive to the current needs of the region, there are a set of key areas which the EU should focus on in streamlining its efforts through the EaP.
Turmoil in Ukraine: A Sign of the Coming Disorder in the Post-Soviet World?
What are the immediate implications of the turmoil in Ukraine for the post-Soviet region? With a brief look at the Russian–Ukrainian, multi-layered conflict, the article assess its impact on both states. In the second part, the analysis focuses on the security, political and economic repercussions of the conflict in Ukraine for the post-Soviet states. It also looks at the situation in other areas, those with “frozen conflicts,” and unveils Russia’s strategies to destabilise its neighbours and anticipates the economic consequences for the post-Soviet world of the turbulence in Ukraine and Russia’s economic decline.
“Still-Born Giant:” How Russia’s Faltering Economy Will Stifle the Eurasian “Economic” Union
The launch of the Eurasian Economic Union in January 2015 augurs little progress in integrating the economies of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. While the existing Customs Union has been impaired by numerous exemptions enforced by Russia, a common external trade policy within the EEU will be derailed by Russia’s economic decline and expansionist foreign policy. Given that the newly created bloc lacks a sense of political actorness, there is no rationale for the European Union to embark on forming bilateral ties with it or negotiating trade policies.
Partnership for Stability: How to Connect the Strategic Futures of Central Europe and the EaP
There are currently three strategically different zones in Central and Eastern Europe. The first comprises Central European NATO member countries, the second is made up of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia (between NATO and Russia), and third is Russia itself. The crucial changes after the Russian invasion of Ukraine are the termination of connections between the first and third groups, as well as between the second and third groups, and deepening connections between the first and second groups. As Central Europe belongs to the same security complex as Ukraine, and because Central European security cannot be divided from Ukrainian security, it is desirable to link Ukraine and Central Europe to the same strategic structures. We need to provide an additional perspective and bring the Eastern European partners strategically closer to Central European and European security. We need a regional version of Partnership for Peace, a Partnership for Stability (PfS). This paper analyses the determining factors, challenges and opportunities of this concept.\
Mearsheimer and the Poverty of His Realism
Roman Kuźniar takes a critical stance on the widely discussed article by John Mearsheimer, in which the University of Chicago professor blames the West for the Ukraine crisis. Mearsheimer reiterates that both EU and NATO enlargement could not but be seen as threats to Russian interests. With Western plans to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the EU and possibly to NATO as well, Russia could not have reacted otherwise, Mearsheimer argues. Kuźniar contradicts Mearsheimer’s position, pinpointing long-time Western efforts to build bridges to Moscow and include Russia in close cooperation with NATO, the EU, the G-8 and others. None of that worked, Kuźniar explains, because Russia wanted to be respected as yet another Soviet Union. Kuźniar’s view is that the right way to deal with the “new Russia” is not to appease it, but to contain its aggressive tendencies.
The West towards the Crescent of Fire
The accumulation of conflicts and crises in Eastern Europe and the Middle East has created a “crescent of fire” in the EU’s neighbourhood. This new situation poses challenges for NATO and the EU in both the short and long terms. In order to maintain an active role in resolving these conflicts, it is necessary to define their nature and adjust the tools available to this new situation.
Annual list of contents