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Dialogue Russia-EU: how we could act together now

Alla Akulshina

Relations between Russia and the EU can be defined as incomprehensible and inadequate. Apart from rhetorical confrontation and political situation there is a whole range of reasons explaining the state-of-the-art. What is mainly important - the partners has become rather different. Why can't we get our act together? The Europe has done great things: creation of the largest union in the history, building of the largest market; whereas there are a numerous weak points in the European external policy. Partnership between Russia and the EU should start with not such difficult aspects as energy dialogue or European security, we have to work at 'solidarite de fait', that once became a basic principle of European building. The force of Russia consists of natural resources and extraordinary supply of oil and gas, but at the same time, it is a weakness, Russia has to develop the competitive industry, which is able to make Russia-EU relations more balanced. In fact, unlike some other areas of the overall EU-Russia relationship, we have no outstanding or vexing problems to solve in the area of research cooperation, but only a positive agenda to move forward. Such an enhanced cooperation in a strategic area will contribute to shaping a more positive EU-Russia relationship. The possible association of Russia to the Framework Programme would make more tangible and more visible success story. European Research Area would be enriched and strengthened by Russia also becoming a full part of it.

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