The future of Europe’s relations with Russia looks bleak. The Kremlin is pursuing an increasingly aggressive foreign policy to assert itself as a great power and distract from economic woes at home. “Russia 2030: A story of great power dreams and small victorious wars” considers how Russia and Europe’s eastern neighbours may look 14 years from now. The paper sets out five key trends that will play out in Russia and Eastern Europe, the events that could throw them off course, and what the EU should do.
It argues that Russia will become more inclined to resort to force as it modernises its military and draws lessons from recent successes on the battlefield. Russia does not want a full confrontation with the West, but a miscalculation could lead to a major clash. Russia has tripped up before, getting bogged down in Donbas after overestimating the level of popular support there.
We asked experts in several European member states to consider what this could mean for their countries, and for their policies towards Russia.
In the face of large refugee inflows Germany’s insurgent parties are sympathising with Russia, even despite the country’s meddling in German domestic affairs.
France's response to the Ukraine crisis has been more active and more determined than many would have predicted, but with ongoing operations in Africa and the Middle East it should be careful not to overstretch itself
Russia is a long-time ally, and rather than engaging in EU security cooperation it wants to return to its “marriage of convenience” as soon as possible.