Kadri Liik, a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the latest signals coming out of Brussels are offending Moscow as the EU is asking Russia to drop its basic foreign policy identity.
"I think the greatest mistake was that the paper [written by the EU's foreign service unit] shows the writers do not understand Russian foreign policy at all," she told ETV's “Välisilm.”
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini sent a paper to EU foreign ministers saying the EU could cooperate with Russia on combating terrorism. It also said sanctions resulting from Crimea should be separated from those connected to the events in eastern Ukraine.
Liik said the Mogherini paper asks Russia to drop its basic foreign policy identity. This, however, would appear to clash with Russia vision of itself as a great nation with spheres of influence. "This is fundamental for Russia, and we [the EU] believe Russia should drop this for the restoration of formal dialogue with the European Union. This simply is not a fair trade-off," Liik said.
Speaking about the state of the Russian economy, Liik said it is difficult to pin down as a number of major indicators seem fairly sound. “There are some temporary problems, but currently I do not see a way these temporary problems will not turn permanent,” she said.
Russia could diversify into a research and development-based economy, she said, adding that, while it had the brainpower, it lacked the infrastructure which could turn knowledge into money and the necessary legal environment.
Diversifying the economy is contrary to Vladimir Putin's own system, which is very hierarchical, demanding obedience and control, Liik said.
Editor: J.M. Laats