Russia, EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Eurasia

Russia, the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Eurasia research programme focuses on processes that affect foreign and security policy in the Eastern neighbourhood of the EU with a special emphasis on Russia.

Research themes:

  1. Russia’s political and economic development, foreign and security policy, and relations with the West and China

  2. Political dynamics in the post-Soviet space

  3. Western policy practices and initiatives in the region East of the EU

Russia’s domestic and foreign policy changes are of high significance to Finland, the EU and Europe as a whole. The key task of the research programme is to produce analytical information on these interlinked themes. This task is further highlighted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the conflict between Russia and the West.

The actors, networks, and changes in interests and power in Russian policy are studied in the programme. Furthermore, it examines the strategic thinking and ideas that steer Russia’s foreign policy, and compares them with political practice. The transformation of Russia’s governance in a broader context of evolution of autocracy in Eurasia forms a fundamental frame of reference for research.

The research programme also examines the common neighbourhood of the EU and Russia more broadly. The war in Ukraine and the extended political crisis in Belarus are primary research areas. Simultaneously, research on Central Asian states is increasingly important as Russia and China attempt to maintain or increase their role in the region.

In addition, the research programme studies Western approaches to the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood and Eurasia. Europe’s policies towards Russia as well as the EU’s Eastern Partnership with Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan are central research topics. Research on the regional impact and interpretation of different forms of policy plays an important role in the programme.

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Latest publications

Sciorati, Giulia & Silvan, Kristiina (2023). Sino-Russian competition: The reshaping of Central Asia. In Ehteshami, Anoushiravan; Houghton, Benjamin; Liu, Jia ed(s): China Moves West: The Evolving Strategies of the Belt and Road Initiative. Lynne Rienner publishers. 39-56.