Why should the European Union stop waiting for the glory of Russia’s downfall

Why should the European Union stop waiting for the glory of Russia’s downfall

Many believe that Russia is a declining power as EU leaders prepare for the March 25-26 summit to discuss Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, most of the American and European policies towards Russia were based on the assumption that Russia was in a state of collapse and that Russia could effectively deal with the current phase of foreign policy activism, no matter how devastating it may have been. He is. It is in the interests of the European Union and the United States. This approach is sometimes called “tactical patience” – but your policies are nothing short of strategic based on determination. If so This is an open question Whether Russia will sink is a short-sighted view. It is time for the European Union to look to Russia today, not 2050 or 2070.

In anticipation of the collapse of Russia, many American and European thinkers and decision makers – since Joseph New And FIG Barack Obama – Russia’s share of the world economy is declining, and wants to focus on GDP size (compared to Spain and Portugal) and population development. They talk about Russia’s dependence on raw materials, its inability to fight corruption, and many other diseases of the state and the economy. Such thinking leads to a policy that Moscow is waiting to acknowledge the inevitability of Russia’s collapse. From there, Westerners can reasonably speak out about their future interventions.

There are several reasons why the attitude of the US and the European Union towards the perception of an inevitable collapse is that the basis for Russia is becoming a political finale. GDP and other socio-economic indicators are initially just a measure of power. The relationship between GDP and geopolitical influence is never linear. Of course, it is good to have a good economy. But history is full of events in which even the most technologically advanced neighboring states – even the Protestants – dominated or destroyed the rich economy. One such example is the fall of the Roman Empire. The Mongols have invaded China several times. Iran is not the richest country in the Middle East, but it is increasing its geopolitical influence in countries with higher GDP. When the army crossed the Alps in 1799, Russia itself was poorer than most of Europe, and in 1815 Napoleon was defeated and Cossack taught the waiters in Paris the word “bistro”.

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The story of Russia’s transformation of tradition shapes its current foreign policy – and may continue for decades to come.

Today Turkey and Switzerland have similar GDP, while Ireland has a higher GDP than Egypt. Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey and Egypt are not in the same league when it comes to global and regional issues. Therefore, do not rely on Russian GDP as a predictor of geopolitical collapse.

Another problem with Russian policy based on the idea of ​​weakening Russia’s geopolitics is that, even if it exists, it can take decades to affect Russian foreign policy. Over the past decade, Russia has taken more and more hostile actions against the European Union and its allies, the Middle East and Africa – Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Libya, Syria and the Central African Republic. . Russia pursues a strategy of increasing its geopolitical power, often directly questioning the prestige, interests and influence of the European Union. As this process unfolds over the next 20 to 30 years, the government is very irresponsible, hoping that the collapse will change the course of Russia.

Russian Diklinism is also a mistake, because it shows the history of most European empires to Russia. Most European empires had a linear history of ups and downs, and then adopted a comfortable existence, small or medium. Austria, Great Britain, Belgium, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden have gone through a history of expansion and recession through this linear imperialism. However, such development is not a criterion. Many states went through stages of ascent and descent. The power of China, Iran, and Russia grew, shrunk, and spread again over the centuries, or not for millennia. During the last millennium, the Russian imperial power has grown and collapsed many times.

This historical memory has special foreign policy approvals for today’s EU-Russia interactions. Where the European Union sees Russia’s irreversible collapse, Russia sees it as one of the few temporary rifts it has suffered over the centuries. After the collapse of the Russian state after the 1917 revolution, Russian leaders believed that they, like their predecessors, could reverse this decline. In 1918, Russia lost control of large areas (including Finland and Poland). Baltic countries and present-day Moldova). But within three decades, he regained some of the lost territory and extended his control to Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Tirana. The story of a Russian coup shapes its current foreign policy – and it may continue for decades to come.

The truth is that no one knows whether Russia will reject it or reclaim it. Russia has been involved for decades, seriously affecting the interests of the European Union. Many of the challenges posed by Russia to the European Union – especially those related to the group’s influence in the Balkans, the Middle East and Eastern Europe – will not go away on their own. The European Union must meet these challenges through actions that strengthen Russia and its own neighbors – not through tactical patience, but on the polite term of tactical inaction.

The European Council on External Relations does not take a common position. ECFR publications represent only the opinions of individual authors.

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