Strategic ambivalence

Die Beziehungen zwischen der EU und Russland sind extrem angespannt. Weitere Konflikte, etwa um den INF-Vertrag, könnten zu einem neuen Kalten Krieg führen, warnt die EU-Außenbeauftragte Mogherini. Die Italienerin will gegensteuern – doch die politischen Initiativen aus Brüssel sind zweischneidig. Beitrag für die “Security Times” zur Münchener Sicherheitskonferenz 2019.

When Federica Mogherini was named the European Union’s new foreign policy chief, one particular photo made the rounds in Brussels. It shows the Italian politician at the Kremlin, shaking the hand of Vladimir Putin. Their grasp is firm, their eyes locked. The photo was taken during her first trip to Moscow, in July 2014, when Mogherini was still foreign minister of Italy.

Whoever greets Putin so affably cannot possibly speak for all 28 countries of the EU, said her critics in Brussels. The Eastern Europeans in particular accused Mogherini of being too close to Moscow. Nevertheless, the Italian social democrat got the job. But the photo with Putin has haunted her to this day. It has become a symbol of the dramatic transformation in EU-Russian relations.

Read on here (The Security Times, edition 2019 for the Munich Security Conference)