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The period of “stability” in the neighborhood (that started with the development of the European Neighborhood Policy in 2004 and ended at the end of 2010 with the crackdown in Belarus and the Arab Spring in early 2011), which was characterized by the reliance of the European Union on authoritarian and dictatorial rulers in its neighboring countries, is over. The EU has to revisit the paradigms defining how it relates to its neighborhood and quickly make strategic decisions based on new realities. One of these realities is the war in Europe unleashed by the Russian leadership with the goal of preventing Ukraine’s closer integration with Europe, and the broader information war Russia is waging against the West. Russia’s new assertiveness in the region blatantly undermines the EU. Another new reality is the wish of people in the EU’s neighboring countries to live in freedom and dignity. The people, not the dictators, have to be the principle partners of the EU.

 

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Andrei Sannikov
Andrei Sannikov
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Foreword After the violent dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, there had been a shared sense of hope for a more peaceful future for the European continent. Unfortunately, this comfortability disappeared after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to march against the Ukrainian forces throughout the border on 24 February 2022. This marked a turning point not only for the region...
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