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Dmitry Vasfilov

Systems Analysis of Interaction between Russia and the European Union in the Post-Soviet Space 

2014. Vol. 9. No. 3. P. 31–46 [issue contents]

This article analyzes post-Soviet relations between Russia and the European Union using the theoretical framework of neoclassical realism. It finds that the post-Soviet level of competition between Russia and the EU is higher than required by the international system. The reason is rooted in the influence of a number of internal factors (or intervening variables). Consequently, elites in both Russia and the EU are not able to adequately understand the signals sent by the international system.

There is a wide variety of intervening variables; for example, there are factors caused by the political elites’ perceptions of each other’s intentions and of the international situation, factors related to inadequate information, factors related to the complex institutional structure of the EU and factors related to domestic political issues. In addition, the current international environment, characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, increases the effects of these intervening variables.

These effects result in inaccurate and incorrect processing of the signals of the international system by Russian and European elites. As a result, a subsystem of international relations has arisen in the post-Soviet space, featuring a highly competitive environment. However, there are only two major actors in the region: Russia and the EU. Small countries are too weak, so must choose to align themselves with either Russia or the Euone or the other. This causes a rivalry between Russia and the EU for influence on small and medium-sized countries in the post-Soviet space.

Citation: Vasfilov D. (2014) Systems Analysis of Interaction between Russia and the European Union in the Post-Soviet Space. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 9, no 3, pp. 31-46 (in Russian and English).
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