What Russia wants and how the west should respond

Kremlinology buffs in Brussels appreciated the insights shared by Fiona Hill, Director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and the lead author of a new book, Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin. Speaking at a CEPS seminar supported by the US Mission to the EU on October 20th, Hill described Putin as a “master tactician” who has made himself indispensable to Russia’s political system. Rather than economic interests, it is Russia’s sovereignty and its aspirations to be perceived as a powerful member of the international community that are driving its external actions. Fernando Andresen Guimaraes, Head of the Russia Division at the EEAS, underlined the key elements of the EU’s comprehensive response to Russia’s aggressive foreign policy, citing unity and resilience in maintaining the restrictive measures as well as securing alternatives to its energy supplies as central aspects to the EU’s policy package. He also underlined the EU’s desire to see Russia become once again a reliable partner in international relations.