Still entrenched in the conflict/cooperation dichotomy? EU–Russia relations and the Ukraine crisis

Cristian Nitoiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article highlights that the traditional conflict/cooperation dichotomy which characterised the dynamic of European Union (EU)–Russia relation during the post-Cold War period has remained stable throughout the Ukraine crisis. It identifies a pattern of continuity rather than change in the main characteristics of the traditional conflict/cooperation dichotomy: the post-Cold War order on the European continent, values and worldviews, perceptions of self and other, and policies towards each other and post-Soviet space. Secondly, in tune with neoclassical realism the article aims to account for the relative persistence of the conflict/cooperation dichotomy. It argues that the dynamic of EU–Russia relations remained rather stable due to the fact that neither the EU nor Russian foreign policy has undergone major transformations (of both power, scope and organisation) that would provide incentive or constrains for a complete overhaul of the conflict/cooperation dichotomy. Moreover, the article claims that the relative stability of world politics since the start of the Ukraine crisis has not given any the EU and Russia incentives – or constrained them – to seek to change the overall dynamic of their relationship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Politics and Society
Volumein press
Early online date12 Jul 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Politics and Society on 12/7/16, available online:


  • conflict
  • cooperation
  • European Union
  • foreign policy
  • Russia

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