Russia and the European Union
This paper endeavours to identify the causes of the deterioration that has occurred in Russian-EU relations since Putin became president of the Russian Federation. It begins by offering a brief summary of Russian-EU relations in the 1990s, before turning to the deterioration in the relationship, which became particularly evident immediately after the 2003/2004 parliamentary and presidential elections. The paper argues that the deterioration in the Russian-EU relationship in the last few years is the result of domestic developments in Russia, resentment in Russia of the EU’s normative agenda, as well as by the enlargement of the EU. More recently, energy issues have caused problems. But it also identifies some longer standing structural problems which lie behind these recent difficulties and stem from the very different ways in which the Russia and the EU operate. It offers a brief analysis of these structural incompatibilities, before turning to the difficulties that have arisen both because of the direction in which Putin has led Russia, and as a result of EU enlargement.