Yet, as a new report on Russia by ECFR argues, only the EU can engage with Russia on equal terms, in a way that sacrifices neither principles nor interests.
Russia's ability to use powerful foreign energy executives to exert pressure on foreign governments is detailed in a new report by the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Big contracts matter proportionally more to France than to Germany, said Francois Godement of ECFR, because France's sales account for less than 1.5 percent of Chinese imports, compared with 5 percent for Germany.
In a new paper by ECFR, Cyprus and Greece were given the unenviable title of the Russian "Trojan Horses" within the EU. But now, even Greece is signalling quietly that while it will not recognise Kosovo immediately, it will, given a decent interval of time.
"It must be understood that EU unity cannot expire on the day after the recognition of Kosovo," said Ivan Krastev of ECFR.
ECFR's report cites fears that Russia is an increasingly dangerous trading and political partner.
An analytical article about ECFR's Russia report in Norway's leading political daily.
Georgia had been performing well with the various technical reforms needed to join NATO - said Nicu Popescu - but the political element of NATO membership, which was already in doubt, has been severely damaged by recent events.
An article about ECFR's EU-Russia report in China's English-language newspaper, the People's Daily Online.
Hungary's leading political daily carries a lengthy article on ECFR's Russia report.