Languages: German and English (fluent), Spanish and Polish (conversational)
Areas of Expertise: Eastern Europe; Russia; armed conflict and military affairs; defence policy; missile defence; missile proliferation
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 Diplomat, New Eastern Europe, Foreign Policy, Gazeta Prawna, Rzeczpospolita, Kyiv Post, the Moscow Times, Capital, the Telegraph, the Economist, Newsweek, Deutsche Welle, RTL, al Jazeera, TVP, TRT, Polskie Radio, RFI, FM4, Ukraine Today, and Radio Free Europe.
Gustav Gressel - 17 April 2019
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.
Gustav Gressel - 02 April 2019
Military spending may now figure in public conversation about NATO. But the alliance, at 70 years old, still lacks military capabilities strong enough to protect Europe from Russia
Gustav Gressel - 27 February 2019
Berlin's handling of the controversial Nord Stream 2 project reveals double standards and neglect of the pipeline's security repercussions.
Gustav Gressel - 06 February 2019
Germany is not facing up to the INF challenge. If it does not take a lead, Russian nuclear superiority over Europe will soon be a done deal
by Gustav Gressel - 28th November, 2018
Gustav Gressel - 24 October 2018
American withdrawal from the cold war era INF Treaty would do nothing to strengthen security in the US or Europe, and would allow Moscow to get away with repeated violations
Gustav Gressel - 22 October 2018
If Europe refrains from punishing state-sponsored assassinations and disappearances, not only will authoritarian regimes continue their repressive tactics, but the EU will lose its ability to defend its common area of freedom, security, and justice
by Gustav Gressel - 29th August, 2019
The EU, US, and NATO must ensure that these services remain high in the minds of the Zelensky administration and of Rada members
by Gustav Gressel - 28th November, 2018
by Gustav Gressel - 14th July, 2017
Anti-Western elements, exploitable by the Kremlin, exist not only on the fringes of European politics, but reach right into the heart of established parties.
There is no room for complacency in Europe’s stance towards Russia and Ukraine.
by Gustav Gressel - 05th October, 2016
Reforms in key state institutions, such as the judiciary, have failed to deliver results.
by Gustav Gressel - 13th October, 2015
Putin’s expansionist policy in Russia’s neighbourhood is backed up by a poised and professional military.
It came as a surprise when Russia’s government resigned just hours after Putin’s announced his plans for a possible referendum of constitutional changes. Host Mark Leonard is joined by Kadri Liik and Gustav Gressel to elaborate on the recent political changes that have happened in the world’ largest country over the course of just the past weeks. What role will Putin play in the future in Russia and on the global stage? Is there a change to recent the relationship between the EU and Moscow? And was does this all mean to Belarus, Ukraine and the NordStream 2 project?
This podcast was recorded on 27 January 2020.
In this week’s podcast, Mark Leonard, Gustav Gressel and Kadri Liik analyse Macron’s plans and ideas for recreating the European security order, an initiative which he launched with a speech at the Ambassador’s conference this year. Moreover, according to French officials, France will instead of starting with a top-down plan, try to build European security from the bottom-up and see if there is a desire in Moscow to make progress on specific issues, one brick at a time. They have laid out a roadmap with five different areas: Disarmament, security dialogue, crisis management, values, and common projects.
Further read: “Emmanuel Macron’s very big idea on Russia” by Gustav Gressel, Kadri Liik, Jeremy Shapiro & Tara Varma
The podcast was recorded on 30 September 2019.
In the third episode of ECFR’s summer series on strategic sovereignty, Mark Leonard talks to Gustav Gressel, Acting Director of the Wider Europe programme and Senior Policy Fellow at ECFR, about hybrid threats. Using Gressel’s recent paper on hybrid threats as a starting point, they discuss all elements of hybrid warfare: from sponsored proxy groups to propaganda war, and from economic pressure to cyber attacks. Importantly, they ask what impact hybrid warfare might have on European sovereignty.
This podcast was recorded on Friday, 12 July, 2019.
Cyber warfare specialists serving with the Maryland Air National Guard’s 175th Cyberspace Operations Group engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Md., June 3, 2017. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.
Public domain. Retrieved from: www.defense.gov/Newsroom/News/Art…-on-capitol-hill/
ECFR’s director Mark Leonard speaks with ECFR Policy Fellows Stefan Soesanto, Kadri Liik and Gustav Gressel on Russia's interferences in Western politics.
The podcast was recorded on 5 January 2017.
Maurice Paléologue, An Ambassador’s Memoirs
Harvey Pitcher, Witnesses Of The Russian Revolution
Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin
Michael Hayden, Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror
Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
The GCHQ Puzzle Book
ECFR’s director Mark Leonard speaks with experts Andrew Wilson, Fredrik Wesslau and Gustav Gressel, about rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine in the Donbass, the Minsk agreement, and whether European sanctions on Russia should be renewed. The podcast was recorded on 30 August 2016.
Enough said: What’s gone wrong with the language of politics by Mark Thompson
The decline of the West by Oswald Sprengler
Ukraine crisis: What it means for the West by Andrew Wilson
The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation by Andrew Wilson