Thomas Bagger, Head of Policy Planning, German MFA
Alexander Gabuev, Visiting Fellow, ECFR
Andrei Kortunov, Russian International Affairs Council
Karolina Nowak, Deputy Head of Policy Planning, Polish MFA
Nicu Popescu, Senior Analyst, EUISS
Kirill Rogov, Visiting Fellow, ECFR
Dr. Norbert Röttgen, Head of Foreign Policy Committee, German Bundestag
Mark Leonard, Director, ECFR
Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, Moscow
Vessela Tcherneva, Head of Wider Europe Programme, ECFR
Devoted to deepening the relations between the European Union, its member states and Russia, on 3 March 2015, the EU-Russia Strategy Group met at the Representation of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin, Germany, to discuss current political and economic trends. The EU-Russia Strategy Group is an informal discussion platform of the European Council on Foreign Relations involving policy-makers and policy-experts from Russia and several EU member states.
The small but exclusive event attracted a high-ranking audience. It was attended by key foreign affairs experts, political directors and heads of planning staffs of the EU, governments of member states and civil society from all over Europe. Participants discussed the effects of the sanctions regime both on Russia and European countries, the impact of the Ukraine crisis on Sino-Russian relations and the Kremlin’s pivot to Asia, as well as the Russian-European competition for shaping the European order and the European security architecture. Policy-makers got a deeper insight into how European and Russian measures and communication were perceived by the parties at the receiving end of policies on various issues.
Despite differences and tough discussions, the event was judged as a success by all parties involved. As the disagreement on many issues can hardly be overcome, it was at least important to discuss why and on what the disagreements are.