European Regional Security Damaged: Back to Realpolitik?

Guest Contributor:

Mykola Kapitonenko

Along with possible future implications, which are so actively speculated about, Russia’s active revisionist policy in Europe and beyond is generating a new reality on the ground in real-time mode. It turns out not so much that President Putin has lost touch with reality, but rather that his vision and perception of reality is being actively imposed on Europe’s political agenda. Politics is not only about material factors, but also ideas and perceptions. The ability to shape agenda and reframe values is an important power asset and the way this asset is being currently used by Putin undermines European security.

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published 27 October 2015: Democracy, EU, History, Military, NATO, Russia, Security

Is There a Future for the Eastern Partnership?

Guest Contributor:

By Mykola Kapitonenko

A recent year and a half has radically transformed the way regional security in Europe (dis)functions.

Both traditional arrangements and new mechanisms have been damaged. The Eastern Partnership project, once the EU’s ambitious attempt to project its normative capacities, is close to a failure. A threat of Russian revisionism, already surfacing when the Eastern Partnership was launched, has now become a key determinant of political reality.

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published 23 June 2015: Democracy, Economics, EU, Europe, History, NATO, Reform, Russia

Why and How Should the West Help Ukraine?

Guest Contributor:

This letter is from one of our devoted readers in response to the article we posted in our last Bulletin.

By Mykola Kapitonenko, PhD

The question above is particularly difficult to address at times of major changes and high uncertainty internationally. Often doing nothing is the safest strategy, while engagement could cost a lot. However, tough times make safety relative. And it turns out that doing nothing for the sake of safety results in a strategic failure. The Ukrainian crisis, to put it in the moderate terms, may become an illustration of that.

The West can perhaps afford to care little about Ukraine and to do even less. The problem is that, even if affordable, this will be the weakest strategy, resulting in a dramatic narrowing of political opportunities for the EU and a general decline of its power. Moreover, when neighboring Russia, one should always remember that a decline in power brings less security. Even the EU won’t be an exception.

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published 2 May 2015: Democracy, EU, History, NATO, Russia, Security, USA