Experts & Staff

Nicu Popescu

Director, Wider Europe programme
Senior Policy Fellow

Languages: English, Russian, French, Romanian
Areas of Expertise: Russian domestic and foreign policies; Eastern Partnership countries and their relations with the EU, post-Soviet conflicts, cyber security

Nicu Popescu is a senior policy fellow with the New European Security Initiative programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations and director of ECFR's Wider Europe programme. His topics of focus include Russia and the Eastern Partnership, cybersecurity, and information warfare. 

Popescu teaches at l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Previously, he worked as a senior analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies (2013-2018); senior advisor on foreign policy and EU affairs to the prime minister of Moldova (2010, 2012-2013). Prior to this, he worked as head of programming and a senior research fellow at ECFR's London office (2007-2009, 2011-2012), and as a Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels (2005-2007). Popescu holds a PhD in International Relations from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He is author of the EU foreign policy and post-Soviet conflicts: stealth intervention (Routledge 2010) and co-editor of Democratization in EU Foreign Policy (with Benedetta Berti and Kristina Mikulova), published in 2015.

Latest from Nicu Popescu

  • Cover: “Quel avenir pour les relations UE-Russie? ”

    What future for the EU-Russia relations ?

    Séminaire du 9 juin à l'Académie Diplomatique Internationale avec:

    Panel 1
    - Andrew Wilson, Professeur en Etudes ukrainiennes au University College de Londores et Senior Policy Fellow de l’ECFR
    - David Cadier, Visiting Senior Fellow au Finnish Institute of International Affairs et Chercheur Associé, LSE IDEAS (London School of Economics)
    - Jean Radvanyi, professeur à l'INALCO et co-auteur du livre "La Russie entre peurs et défis" (Armand Colin 2016) avec Marlène Laruelle
    - Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, directeur du bureau de l'ECFR Paris (modérateur)

    Panel 2
    - Pierre Lellouche, Député membre de la commission des affaires étrangères
    - Nicu Pospescu, Analyste senior à l'Institut d'Etudes de Sécurité de l'Union européenne (EUISS)
    - Michel Duclos, Directeur général de l'Académie Diplomatique Internationale (Modérateur)

    Listen online   

    Three scenarios for Ukraine (Commentary)

    Nicu Popescu - 11 March 2014

    Following events in Crimea, three worrying scenarios are conveivable, including a future with more military interventions. To minismise the chance of this happening, Russia's actions have to be met more than just diplomatic signals.

    Time for Azerbaijan to open up (Commentary)

    Nicu Popescu - 01 October 2012

    Azerbaijan has hydrocarbon riches and a strategic position, which means that all the great powers have an interest in good relations. But one family has dominated the political scene for many years, corruption is rampant and the economy needs diversifying. It’s time to open up.


    Cover: Transnistria: A bottom-up solution

    Transnistria: A bottom-up solution

    by Nicu Popescu - 25th September, 2012

    How to defrost Moldova's frozen conflict


    Power and Weakness in Putin’s Russia (Commentary)

    Nicu Popescu - 15 March 2012

    Vladimir Putin’s support machine was strong enough to guarantee him victory in the presidential election. But Putin’s strength is the weakness of the opposition and he should be worried by the divisions within his own government.


    How Putin ran out of ideas and won (Commentary)

    Nicu Popescu - 01 March 2012

    Russia has changed and Vladimir Putin has run out of ideas. Although he will still win the Russian presidential election, Putin faces the biggest ever challenge to his power once he re-enters the Kremlin.


    Russia's liberal-nationalist cocktail: elixir of life or toxic poison? (Commentary)

    Nicu Popescu - 23 February 2012

    Young, liberal figures such as Alexei Navalny and Vladimir Milov are building bridges between democratic and nationalist wings of the protest movement. Will this marriage prove a mix that mobilises a nation against the Putin regime, or will it taint the legitimacy of both sides in years to come? 


    The beginning of the end for Putin? (Commentary)

    Nicu Popescu - 06 December 2011

    Russia's election results are bad news for Putin for two reasons. Firstly United Russia did badly despite the election being biased in its favour, and secondly it shows that Putin can no longer rely on an apathetic population.




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