Global Review

Potentials for a cooperation between the EU and Russia

October 2, 2019
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After the Russian Council published ideas about a German-Chinese axis which should be transformed in a Eurasian triangle with Russia, Andrej Kortunow, director of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) gave an interview outlining the potentials for an cooperation and coordination between the EU and Russia. The interview is available here.

I think Kortunov’s contribution is a much more realistic approach than speculations about an German-Chinese axis or an Eurasian triangle. Also the distinction between NATO and EU and OSCE, between short term and long-term challenges, especially in the international context.I think migration,anti-terrorism ,financial stability (also in the face of Libra) and climate change could be fields of cooperations and coordination.However I think mutual noninterference and cybersecurity will be much more difficult to realize.In my opinion a New East Policy towards Russia is needed.The idea that Ukraine and Bellarussìa should become neutral bridge states between the EU and the Eurasian Union and the idea of an European Silkroad Marco Polo 2 which connects the EU with Eurasia. However no German or European politician is thinking about this at the moment. Interesting that Lindner from the German Ļiberal Party is thinking about a new approach for Germany`s Russia policy,but the FDP is quiet weak and won´t be a decisive factor in a foreseeable future

I wrote an article about the deforestation of Siberian forrests by China and Prof. Rahr had the idea of an ecological cooperation between Russia and the EU.This would fit quiet well in Kortunow’s approach and the possibility that the next German goverment is a green-black coalition is quiet high. The deforrestation is a urgent problem. Everybody talks about the Amazonas,but nobody about the deforrestation of Siberia by China. Therefore this could become a major new focus for the EU,especially if the Green Party becomes coalition partner in a German government. Maybe this would be a good starting point.

In Russia there ome academics already have tried to establish NGOs and organization for a green perspective as the Altai Forum and the Green Mountain Foundation, but weren´t very successful. And the question is if the goals of these organizations weren´t too limited. Maybe a Green Eurasia Foundation was better. Altai Forum and Green Mountain Foundation have some disadvantages in their name and title. First the Altai is a defined, not that big region and everybody thinks of rock ans stone if he reads mountain. Green Eurasia and Siberia as the green lung of Euraisa and menkind let people think in greater terms and also of forrests and green and wood. However if hearing Siberia many also think of Gulag, prisoner camps, exile, ice, snow, cold and dead and a lifeless enviroment. Somehow you have to counter these association as Siberia should stand for green, forests, woods, live, biodiversity, animals and plants as the green lung of menkind and the planet , the Amazonas does. Maybe future NGOs or organizations should portray the Siberian woods as the green lung of Eurasia, menkind and the planet. NGOs in Russia might be a political problem and I don´t know if the Russian goverment and Putin would like such an idea as it could touch the national sovereignity and be thought as interference in internal affairs. Same with Bolsanaro in Brasil. Maybe it is better if a black-green German goverment, the EU and Putin-Russia discuss such issues from state to state level without the interference of NGOs.

First published in the Global Review.

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