Russia’s relations with the European Union are witnessing an unprecedented deterioration for several reasons, including Moscow’s return to the practice of “power politics” in its relations with its European neighbors, its attempt to expand its geopolitical influence, as well as its “conflict” with Ukraine, and its support for Belarus, especially with the outbreak of the refugee crisis on the border with Poland.
A leaked document, which will be discussed by EU ministers next Monday, revealed Moscow’s power plans or strategy, in amid the deterioration of relations between the two parties.
The meeting is likely to also discuss US allegations that Moscow has mobilized its forces to carry out another invasion of Ukraine, along with the “Strategic Compass” document, according to the British newspaper “The Telegraph”.
The “strategic compass” policy is roughly considered to be the military doctrine of the EU, similar to NATO’s “strategic concept” which defines the goals of the alliance.
It also defines the political guidelines to guide foreign and defense policy for the next five to ten years.
The leaked draft document revealed that Russia, the Union’s largest neighbor and a major global player, is still looking to expand its geopolitical sphere of influence.
The document also made it clear that “a return to power politics will lead major countries to discuss historical rights and spheres of influence, instead of adhering to internationally agreed rules and principles and uniting to promote pace and international security “.
“The impact of the deterioration of relations with Russia has a serious and special effect,” he said.
According to the document, hybrid tactics such as cyber attacks and disinformation have become part of Russian behavior.
He made it clear that Moscow is actively interfering in a series of files through hybrid tactics, which threaten the stability of some countries and their democratic processes, noting that “his actions in our common neighborhood and in other theaters contradict the European Union’s vision of the world and its interests ”.
Crimea has annexed the relations agreement
He said the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region were a “turning point” in relations with the union.
Tensions were exacerbated by Vladimir Putin’s support for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who pushed Iraqi migrants to the borders of the European Union in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
But despite criticism, the document showed that the bloc plans to engage with Moscow on issues such as climate change, “rejecting aggressive actions and limiting its ability to undermine the interests of the European Union.”
Attempts to mend relationships
Separately, French and Russian foreign and defense ministers met in Paris on Friday in an effort to repair damaged diplomatic relations.
Tensions between Moscow and the West have increased in recent months, with the Russian president shocked by new speeches about Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in visit in both countries in October.
Furthermore, Russia has entered in a diplomatic confrontation with NATO. In the weeks leading up to last month’s annual NATO defense ministers conference, the alliance expelled eight Russian diplomats whom it described as spies.
In return, Moscow responded by shutting down the entire NATO mission.
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