Experts & Staff

Gustav Gressel

Senior Policy Fellow

Areas of expertise

Eastern Europe; Russia; armed conflict and military affairs; defence policy; missile defence; missile proliferation

Languages

German and English (fluent), Spanish and Polish (conversational)

Biography

Gustav Gressel is a senior policy fellow with the Wider Europe Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Berlin office. His topics of focus include Russia, Eastern Europe, and defense policy.

Before joining ECFR, Gressel worked as a desk officer for international security policy and strategy in the Bureau for Security Policy of the Austrian Ministry of Defence from 2006 to 2014, and as a research fellow of the Commissioner for Strategic Studies with the Austrian MoD from 2003 to 2006. He was also a research fellow with the International Institute for Liberal Politics in Vienna. Before his academic career he served five years in the Austrian Armed Forces.

Gressel holds a PhD in Strategic Studies at the Faculty of Military Sciences at the National University of Public Service, Budapest and a Masters Degree in political science from Salzburg University. He is the author of numerous publications regarding security policy and strategic affairs and a frequent commentator on international affairs. His opinions have appeared in media such as the New York Times, the Guardian, Die Welt, NZZ, Bild, the DiplomatNew Eastern Europe, Foreign Policy, Gazeta PrawnaRzeczpospolita, Kyiv Post, the Moscow TimesCapital, the Telegraph, the EconomistNewsweek, Deutsche Welle, RTL, al Jazeera, TVP, TRT, Polskie Radio, RFI, FM4, Ukraine Today, and Radio Free Europe.

Ukraine prisoner swap: A sign of hope or desperation?

The West is drawing the wrong lessons from Ukraine’s exchange of prisoners with Russia. It now risks rushing Kyiv into an unstable ‘resolution’ to the conflict in Donbas

Emmanuel Macron’s very big idea on Russia

Negotiations with Russia over a new European security order would have huge – to many, alarming – implications for Ukraine, the EU, and the NATO alliance

Occupational hazards: The Russian military in Crimea

While its current disposition in Crimea is mainly defensive in nature, Russia's military build-up on the peninsula could soon turn the Black Sea region into a security black hole. 

Publications

Articles

No quiet on the eastern front: The migration crisis engineered by Belarus

The EU should show the Lukashenka regime that it will no longer tolerate the weaponisation of migration. As with any form of blackmail, it would be senseless and dangerous to make concessions – because the aggressor will only demand more.

Dead-end pragmatism: Germany’s Russia strategy after Merkel

Berlin has no will to rethink its long-held assumption that it can somehow improve Europe-Russia relations by engaging with Moscow from a position of weakness and betting on the benefits of long-term economic ties

Belarus and Armenia: How Russia handles uprisings

Russia’s goal in its neighbourhood is to regain influence, not to be surrounded by neutral, self-sufficient buffer states

Podcasts

In the media