21 Jan 2014

After the Vilnius fiasco: Who is to blame? What is to be done?

Michael Emerson

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All three parties principally responsible for the Vilnius fiasco are to blame, each in their very different way: the EU for having drafted agreements with an inadequate balance between incentives and obligations, and vulnerable as a result to Putin’s aim to torpedo the whole process in favour of his misconceived Eurasian Union, while Yanukovich tried playing geo-political games that left him personally and the Ukrainian state as Putin’s hostage. It will require a major recalibration of policies to get this unstable new status quo back onto sound strategic lines, and proposals are advanced along three tracks in parallel: for rebuilding the remnants of the EU’s neighbourhood policy, for attempting to get Russia to take Lisbon to Vladivostok seriously, and for promoting a Greater Eurasia concept fit for the 21st century that would embrace the whole of the European and Asian landmass.

Michael Emerson is an Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies.