The present paper  written by Director General of ELIAMEP Dr Thanos Dokos argues that the EU spectacularly failed to predict Russia’s reaction to the Ukraine crisis mainly because of its lack of appreciation of the continued relevance of hard power in global politics. However, even if Putin’s reaction was the result of his perception that the West crossed a clear Russian “red line”, there are clearly aggressive elements in his strategy. It is, therefore, of critical importance that the West tries to put a lid on the Ukraine crisis through a set of proposals that would allow both sides to agree to a permanent ceasefire and take several steps back in a way that would allow them to save face. Europe should avoid an unnecessary confrontation and rivalry with Russia that might consume a significant amount of the EU’s finite foreign policy and security resources. Of course, the avoidance of such a confrontation cannot be achieved by appeasing Russia but through a combination of containment and engagement.
Author: Dr Thanos Dokos