Dionis Cenușă: We are witnessing a deterioration in relations between EU and Russia

Currently, we are witnessing the worsening of the relations between the European Union and Russia. Before travelling to Moscow on the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Secretly Policy Josep Borrell, vice president of the European Commission, presented the EU’s critical position on the sentence given in the case of Navalny and the pro-Navalny protests that were harshly suppressed by the Russian authorities. Borrell could have given up his visit to Moscow, Dionis Cenușă, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Sciences of Liebig-Justus University in Giessen, Germany, stated in IPN’s public debate “Tense relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation and impact on the Republic of Moldova”.

“The visit to Moscow was planned like a method of sincerity discussing with Russia subjects rated to its internal policy, but it turned into an offensive of Sergey Lavrov against the EU and the EU’s foreign policy in the common neighborhood. It was an embarrassing moment for Borrell or at least this is how it was interpreted a lot inside the EU, inside the European Parliament where we saw 70 signatory MEPs who demanded that Josep Borrell should abandon the post. In a comment on his blog on his return from Moscow on February 7, Borrell deplored the way in which he was treated in the capital of Russia, saying he felt somehow cornered in an attentively orchestrated news conference where he was exposed to a number of blows. Both the EU’s weaknesses and the personal weaknesses of Borrell were exploited,” stated the expert.

Dionis Cenușă noted an insufficiency of principles in the EU’s foreign policy in relation to Russia is felt and one more, rule of law principle should be added to the five existing principles. “There is no such a principle now. In international agreements, Russia is obliged to obey these values, but something else happens in practice. The EU annually compiles reports on the development of democracy and human rights, but they are superficial and refer only to general problems, but do not offer a perspective as to the way in which the EU supports civil society in Russia,” he stated, noting Brussels should present a complete view of what it intends and wants to do in Russia and the propaganda inside Russia should be fought as the survival of Putin’s regime is based rather on misinformation and creation of confusion inside the Russian public.

“If the EU is proposed as the advocate of the Republic of Moldova and other Eastern Partnership counties, this should be done based on an explicit mandate, at diplomatic level that the Republic of Moldova offers to the EU. The capacity to take sovereign decisions inside the countries of the common neighborhood of Russia and the EU is extremely important. A thing that the Republic of Moldova should mandatorily do is to have a foreign policy document that would be close to the current realities and would explain exactly how the Republic of Moldova sees its relations with the Russian Federation. This would be an objective for the current presidency of the Republic of Moldova.”

The public debate “Tense relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation and impact on the Republic of Moldova” is the 172nd installment of the series “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. The project is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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