Samuel Charap, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation
Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, ECFR
Cornelius Zimmermann, Policy Planning Staff, Federal Foreign Office
Gwendolyn Sasse, Director, Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOIS)
Disputes over the regional order in post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia are at the core of the breakdown in relations between Russia and the West and have created major security and economic challenges for the states caught in between: first and foremost Ukraine, but also Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Current policy approaches toward the regional order—i.e., the set of rules, norms, and institutions that govern the region—have exacerbated today’s disorder and instability.
To confront this problem, 21 experts from the United States, Europe, Russia, and the states in between them came together under the auspices of the RAND Corporation and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung’s Regional Office for Cooperation and Peace in Europe. They produced a comprehensive proposal for revising the regional order, which addresses the issues of security architecture, economic integration, and regional conflicts.The approach proposed by the authors would boost regional security, facilitate increased prosperity, and better manage the long-standing conflicts in the region while increasing the chances of settling them. The revised order would thus limit the major-power confrontation in the region, stabilizing the overall competition between Russia and the West. Most importantly, the proposal would not cross any state’s declared red lines, and thus might plausibly be acceptable to all of them. Nonetheless, the report has been controversial, in part because it calls for compromises on all sides.