This paper briefly examines EU-Russia relations in the context of the eastern neighbourhood. Both the EU and Russia’s ambitions for the eastern region have evolved into two competing region-building projects underpinned by differing strategies, norms, instruments, and actors. Although projecting competing rationalities, the two projects, until recently, had peacefully co-existed, working around conflicting issues of political norms and economic convergence, which were not necessarily seen as insurmountable for furthering regional cooperation. Their subsequent politicisation and securitisation, as a consequence of events in Ukraine, have rendered regional partnership currently incompatible, revealing a profound lack of understanding the region by both the EU and Russia; and the EU under-exploited capacity to work co-jointly with the Eurasian Union (and Russia) vis-a-vis the region. The author of this paper, Elena Korosteleva, contends that the EU must make an effort to acknowledge and engage with the above actors over the region, in order to develop cooperative strategies, based on shared interests, international norms and compatible instruments for the advancement of economic and political convergence across the region.
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