Moulioukova, Dina (2011) Europe as the idea, model and reality: complex nature of Europe's significance for Russia. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 8, No. 3, April 2011. [Policy Paper]
Throughout history the identity of Russia has been equally puzzling for Russia itself and for its neighbors. By being both a European and an Asian country geographically, Russia has always presented the dilemma of whether it is ‘a part of Europe or apart from Europe’ (Stent, 2007, p. 393). Therefore, Europe has been and continues to be significant for Russia. Such importance can explain why Russia’s relation with Europe might be more complex than Europe’s relation with any other state. The goal of this paper is to argue that the complexity of Russian-European relations can be explained by Russia’s multidimensional perception of Europe that extends beyond the notion of geopolitics. To understand fully the dynamics of Russian-European relations one should analyze them from three distinct, but interconnected, dimensions of Russia’s perception of Europe: Europe as an idea, Europe as a model, and Europe as a geopolitical reality (Stent, 2007, p. 393). The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate some of the complexities of current Russian European relations by applying this three dimensional analysis.
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