D. Ofitserov-Bel'skiy, NRU HSE (Perm'), 38, Studencheskaya Str., Perm', 614070, Russian Federation; “Foreign Policy” Agency, 76, prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation (DmitriyBelskiy@gmail.com).
The article discusses the evolution of the Visegrad partnership. It never had integrative capacity, but in recent years accumulated the integration potential in regional relations. The common position formation principles in international policy are being carried out by the Visegrad Four. Notable is the emergence of really important issues and explicit politicization of the agenda. The defense theme, the problem of energy security, coordination of positions on the EU budget etc. were included into discussions. At the same time, exacerbated contradictions exist in these areas. Key factors currently affecting the development of the Visegrad Group are: the confrontation of great powers in the region, the inert nature of relationship between the Visegrad countries and the United States, the anarchy in European policy, the prevalence of extra-regional conditions and incentives, the lack of specific regional rules and the void of its institutionalization. The Ukrainian crisis once again emphasizes the importance of the regional policy external actors – the U.S., Germany, Russia and the Brussels EU bureaucracy. It was the cause of the schism emerging in East European politics, and slowed down the process of the intra-regional incentives formation as well as of the communications concentration. It is forcing the Visegrad countries to grasp their limitrophe position. A perspective of the Visegrad partnership is unclear, but it is noteworthy that regional relations become increasingly important for their participants.
Visegrad Group, EU, European security, Ukrainian crisis, foreign policy of Poland, Central and Eastern Europe
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