Sandra Fernandes


Since the end of the Cold War, the EU and Russia have managed to create an original framework for institutionalised cooperation despite asymmetric characteristics. Yet, the way these two main security actors interact has an impact on the (non)-resolution of security issues in Europe, ranging from ‘‘frozen conflicts’’ to the discussion of the security architecture. Since the second mandate of President Putin, the relation has been characterised by two paradoxical features. On the one hand, the methodology and the domains of cooperation have reached a high degree of achievement. On the other hand, the political quality of the relationship has deteriorated and it is not able to achieve the desired ‘‘strategic partnership’’ that should be based on a common set of values and principles. This article aims to define multilateralism as a paradigm applicable to EU-Russian relations. It examines their relationship in the security and defence realm and the Union’s reactions to a new security approach by Russia since the 2008 Medvedev proposal. The article questions how the EU-Russian political dialogue impacts on multilateralism in the security field. The conclusion considers EU-Russian relations as a peculiar multilateral playground addressing common security challenges, which still needs to be developed further in order to be instrumental in the search for collective and legitimate solutions.


Article Keywords

European Union, Russia, European Security Architecture, Multilateralism

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