Skip navigation
LMC 2023

The EU’s Russia Policy: All Quiet on the Western Front?

Opinion polling in EU member states indicates a rise in pro-European sentiment and a growing recognition of Russia as an aggressor state. This shift has been dramatic in Germany, but noticeable too in most member states. However, while the EU is relatively united, there is clearly a gap between the thinking of the eastern and western parts of the continent: a gap, as philosopher Ivan Krastev puts it, between those who fear occupation and those who fear nuclear conflict. The absence of EU consensus on Russia issues has been illustrated by the member states’ varying answers to Russian emigrees, from embracing those escaping mobilisation to rejecting them citing dangers to internal security. The lack of an agreed EU policy towards Russia is clearly not sustainable.


Anton Barbashin

Co-founder and an Editorial Director at Riddle Russia

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff

Deputy Chair of Free Democrats (FDP), German Bundestag

Slyvie Kaufman
Sylvie Kauffmann

Editorial Director and Foreign Affairs Columnist at Le Monde

Kadri Liik
Kadri Liik

Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations

Benjamin Tallis

Senior Research Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations


Judy Dempsey

Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe

How can the gap between western and eastern thinking on Russia be bridged? What principles should guide a new EU Russia policy? What might be a common basis for accepting influxes of Russian citizens and under what conditions might this be agreed?

Erich Maria Remarque
“All Quiet on the Western Front” (novel title) (1928)