The EU's Russia policy cannot succeed as long as it continues to rest on faulty analysis and mistaken assumptions. This is the main conclusion of What does Russia think?, a collection of politically revealing essays by intellectuals whose views influence the Kremlin, which the European Council on Foreign Relations has published today. The collection includes essays by Fyodor Lukyanov, Valery Fadeev, Vyacheslav Glazychev, Gleb Pavlovsky and Leonid Polyakov.
Despite a tendency toward insularity, the policy debate in Russia as reflected through these essays is ongoing and lively. As ECFR Russia experts Ivan Krastev, Mark Leonard and Andrew Wilson write in their joint introduction, "If we want to influence and deal with Russia, we need to understand it. But if we want to understand Russia, we should be interested in it. Unfortunately, we are not. Taken together, these essays show that the EU will only be able to develop an effective approach to Moscow if its policy makers rediscover some of the curiosity for Russia's internal debates that they had during the Cold War."