Foreign policy expert Kadri Liik said proposals put forward by Markus Ederer, the head of the European Union mission in Moscow, to resume economic cooperation with Russia are ideas that are in line with sanctions currently in place.
Asked whether Ederer's proposals could also lead to a relaxation or lifting of sanctions by the European Union, Liik replied that, knowing a little about the proposer, she did not think Ederer would make these recommends.
"Rather, these are really technical ideas that are feasible in the current political climate and are consistent with sanctions," Liik told ERR.
She said she did not see the re-establishing of relations with Russia in the same format as they had previously been.
"The basis of former relations was the belief that Russia, in its entirety, shares European values and becomes more and more like us. By now, everyone - both in Europe and in Russia - has realized that this will not happen. This means that further communication can be based on a completely different conceptual framework. Russia is being talked about not as 'one of us,' but as one of many countries in the world that are not like us. I would see Ederer's proposals as a step in that direction," Liik commented.
Markus Ederer, Head of the EU Representation in Moscow, has issued a memorandum urging Member States to resume cooperation with Russia in various economic sectors, citing the need to counter China's growing influence.
"The European Union can lose everything by ignoring tectonic strategic changes in Eurasia," Markus Ederer wrote in a letter sent to senior officials of the European External Action Service, the contents of which became known to the Financial Times. "Cooperation with not only China but also Russia is a prerequisite for being in the game and using the strengths we have," it says.
Ederer recommends cooperation without high-level political involvement in five areas: the Arctic, the digital sector, cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union, regional infrastructure development, and within the Northern Dimension with non-EU Norway and Iceland to deal effectively with specific technical issues.
Editor: Helen Wright