Towards conflict or cooperation? The Ukraine crisis and EU-Russia relations

Nitoiu, Cristian (2016). Towards conflict or cooperation? The Ukraine crisis and EU-Russia relations. Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 16 (3), pp. 375-390.


The Ukraine crisis and Russia’s contribution to it have raised numerous concerns regarding the possible emergence of a new ‘Cold War’ in Europe. At the same time, Ukraine’s popular choice and enthusiasm for European integration expressed clearly on the streets of Kyiv seem to have caused Russia to adopt a (neo)revisionist attitude. In this context, relations between Russia and the EU (and the West for that matter) have been limited, frozen and directed on path towards conflict. This article analyses how the traditional dichotomy between conflict and cooperation in EU–Russia relations was replaced by conflict in the context of the Ukraine crisis. The article contends that the breakdown of the symbolic and peaceful cohabitation between the EU and Russia has been influenced by the fact that both actors have chosen to ignore key tensions that characterized their post-Cold War interactions. The article identifies three such tensions: the first emphasizes divisions between EU member states and their impact on coagulating a common EU approach towards Russia; the second (geopolitical) tension highlights the almost mutually exclusive way in which the EU and Russia’s security interests have developed in the post-Soviet space; finally, the third contends that a clash of values and worldviews between the EU and Russia makes conflict virtually unavoidable.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > Aston Centre for Europe
Languages & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations
Languages & Social Sciences
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Southeast European and Black Sea Studies on 2/7/16, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: European integration,European Union,EU–Russia relations,geopolitics,member states,post-Cold war,Russia,Ukraine,Ukraine crisis,History,Political Science and International Relations
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
Published Date: 2016
Published Online Date: 2016-07-02
Authors: Nitoiu, Cristian ( 0000-0001-7260-7248)



Version: Accepted Version

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