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Popescu, Nicu


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Cyprus Mail - Cyprus | 23/11/2007

Mark Leonard and Nicu Popescu on the EU and Russia

Mark Leonard, executive director of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), and associate researcher Nicu Popescu analyse the political strategy of Russian president Vladimir Putin in a piece on website Project Syndicate. "In the 1990's, EU members found it easy to agree on a common approach to Russia. They coalesced around a strategy of democratizing and westernizing a weak and indebted Russia. That policy is now in tatters. Soaring oil and gas prices have made Russia more powerful, less co-operative, and less interested in joining the West. Today, Europeans cannot even agree on the nature of the Russian regime, let alone what policy to adopt towards it. ... So long as the EU continues to sway between integration and containment, it will continue to appear to the Kremlin as weak and directionless. That, in turn, will merely encourage Russia to become even more assertive."

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