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On September 4, 2015, Latvian Institute of International Affairs held a roundtable "European Security: Engagement or Mistrust?" moderated by Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs Andris Sprūds and attended by RIAC Website Editor-in-Chief Daria Khaspekova, Imants Lieģis of European Leadership Network and Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Reinhard Krumm of Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and Lukasz Kulesa of European Leadership Network.

On September 4, 2015, Latvian Institute of International Affairs held a roundtable "European Security: Engagement or Mistrust?" moderated by Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs Andris Sprūds and attended by RIAC Website Editor-in-Chief Daria Khaspekova, Imants Lieģis of European Leadership Network and Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Reinhard Krumm of Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and Lukasz Kulesa of European Leadership Network.

The discussants came to a conclusion that the Ukraine situation has generated a massive crisis of confidence between Russia and the West, unseen in scale since the Cold War. As a result, Europe is divided into two camps eager to erect varied barriers to fence off from each other.

However, it seems erroneous to insist that the Russia-West freeze has grown directly out of the Ukraine crisis because the two sides had been definitely working within the zero-sum logic before it erupted. Reiterating the partnership-style assurances, neither Russia nor the West did anything to have them materialized.

The post-Cold War defects of the world order prevail until now, bringing up profound faults between Russia and the West, with the current fissure as deep as never before.

In the near future, the two parties will hardly discuss the Euro-Atlantic security problems constructively, as one may see from the apparently defunct Minsk Agreement.

Both Russia and the West see a solution in the collapse of each other's projects, with the United States and the European Union expecting President Putin to be replaced by a more liberal government, and Russia hoping that Ukraine and its European sponsors blink first.

Representing Cold War logic in action, this approach may only aggravate the predicament, while the way out could be found only in interaction on issues of mutual concern, for example on the migration threat.

Hence, the Russian and Western expert communities should focus on elaboration of areas fit for cooperation and keep working together to prevent mutual isolation.

 

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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
 
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