Anti-Russian Sanctions as a Test for Common Foreign Policy of the European Union

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-10-55-63

F. Basov (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 

Acknowledgements. The article was supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation (Project no. 14-28-00097 “Optimization of Russia’s External Investment Ties amid Deterioration of Relations with the EU”) at IMEMO.

Abstract. Sanctions of the EU against Russia are an important example of success achieved by the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union. For the first time, all EU member-states have overcome serious divisions in the aspect of the foreign policy and taken a common stand. This article is dedicated to the investigation of motives for imposition of anti-Russian sanctions from the EU-side as well as the analysis of disagreements in Europe concerning these sanctions and their reasons. Possibilities of softening and cancellation of sanctions are considered by the author, wherefore the mechanism of political decision-making in the European Union and a possibility of various political powers’ and member-states’ influence on this mechanism is explored. Considerable attention is paid to the analysis of the party political spectrum in the EU and its member-states regarding the implementation and prolongation of sanctions against Russia, and to the scrutiny of reasons for disagreements among them. The differences between national political parties and their fractions in the European Parliament, a regional controversy as well as a potential influence of Brexit on the EU sanction policy are noted in the article. The EU member-states can be divided into three groups in terms of their attitude towards sanction policy against Russia: hardliners, mainstream-states and soft-liners. The presence of these groups provides sustainability of the European Union’s common stand. The mechanism of political decision-making in the EU makes the attitude of the leading member-states determinant. Positions of the sanctions opponents in the European Parliament, in hardliner- and mainstream-states are very weak, and adversaries themselves are disconnected. For softliner-states, the significance of the EU is greater than that of Russia. The stance of the European political mainstream, according to which main sanctions could be cancelled by implementation of Minsk agreements only, is expected to remain stable

Keywords: sanctions, Russia, European Union, CFSP, European Parliament, historical memory, European integration, euroscepticism, political parties 


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For citation:
Basov F. Anti-Russian Sanctions as a Test for Common Foreign Policy of the European Union. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 10, pp. 55-63.

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