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Regular version of the site

Russia-European Union Relationships

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
2 year, 1, 2 module


Busygina, Irina

Course Syllabus


By studying this course students will learn to reflect in a critical way on the Russia-EU relations. The course content will cover all dimensions of relations between Russia and the European Union – political, economic and cultural. At the end of the course, students will: Understand fundamental terminology; Understand institutional systems of Russia and the EU and be able to compare them; Understand decision-making processes in foreign policy in Russia and the EU and be able to compare them; Be able to discuss various policies and dimensions in this dyadic relations.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The primary aim of the course is to form a complete understanding of approaches to studying relations between two major powers in Europe and to test them by using different examples from Russia-EU current relations
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is familiar with IR theories and their application to the Russia–EU relations
  • Able to reflect on (assess and interpret) acquired research methods and work modes
  • Able to create new theories, invent new methods and instruments of professional activities
  • Able to upgrade one’s intellectual and cultural horizons, build the trajectory of professional development and career
  • Able to make managerial decisions and bear responsibility
  • Ability to analyse, verify and assess the completeness of information in the course of one’s professional activity, as well as replenish and synthesise any missing details
  • Able to engage in and manage multilateral communication
  • Ability to engage in professional activities, including research, in the multicultural environment
  • Able to perform research with modern research methods and techniques, using knowledge of the humanities and social sciences and close scientific fields of knowledge
  • Able to perform interdisciplinary interaction and cooperation with representatives of other fields of knowledge while solving research and applied tasks
  • Is able to analyze historical sources, scientific texts and reports, to review scientific literature in Russian and foreign languages
  • able to generalize, analyze, perceive information, set goals and choose ways to achieve it
  • Able to use social and multicultural differences to solve problems in professional and social activities.
  • able to social interaction based on the moral and legal norms accepted in society, capable of respectful and careful attitude to the historical heritage and cultural traditions of different peoples, be responsible for maintaining partnership, trusting relationships
  • Is able to create and edit scientific and popular science texts in the humanities and social sciences
  • Is able to use social and multicultural differences to solve problems in professional and social activities
  • Student is familiar with process of development of Russia-EU relations
  • Student knows about sanctions' role as a power instrument
  • Student is familiar with common background of Russia and EU
  • Student is familiar with institutional design and the scope of supranationality in the EU and EAEU
  • Student can distinguish between the EU an EAEU
  • Student knows about Council of Europe's role in Russia-EU relations
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction and Main Concepts
    Structure of the course, assignments and evaluation. Main concepts for the course: power and institutions. IR theories and their application to the Russia – EU relations.
  • Evolution of Russia-EU relations: 1994 - 2018
    New Russia and the new EU: starting relations from the zero point. Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Russia and the EU in 90s: more bilateral than multilateral. EU Common Strategy on Russia. EU – Russia Strategic Partnership. Four “common spaces”. Why no new Basic Agreement and no summits?
  • Sanctions as Power Instrument
    Short history of sanctions. Sanctions instead of military conflicts? Sanctions by democracies and autocracies. Bilateral and multilateral sanctions. Smart sanctions. Are sanctions effective for changes in target countries?
  • Russia, EU and the Common Neighborhood
    What is Common Neighborhood (CN)? The differences in approaches, interests, priorities between Russia and the EU with regard to CN. EU and Russian power tools and their application in the CN countries. What determines the choices (external orientation) of the CN countries? Are these choices consistent and strategic?
  • Comparing Integration Projects: The EU and the EAEU
    How to compare integration projects? Integration with and without hegemon. Integration between democracies and non-democracies. Institutional design and the scope of supranationality in the EU and EAEU. Political vs. economic integration. Perspectives for the future development.
  • Russia and the Council of Europe
    Why autocracies join international organizations (agreements) on human rights? How do they behave in the organizations? Why did Russia join the Council of Europe? Why did Russia not leave the Council? The Council position on Russia.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class activity
  • non-blocking Essay
  • non-blocking Exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    The cumulative grade for this course is calculated as follows: 0.3*Gclass + 0.7*Gessay The final grade is calculated as follows: 0.5*Gaccumulative + 0.5*Gexam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Casier, T. (2013). The EU——Russia Strategic Partnership: Challenging the Normative Argument. Europe-Asia Studies, 65(7), 1377–1395. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2013.824137

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Busygina, I., Filippov, M., & Shvetsova, O. (2011). Risks and Constraints of Political Modernisation in Russia: The Federal Problem. Perspectives on European Politics & Society, 12(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/15705854.2011.546140
  • Maksim Karliuk. (2015). The Eurasian Economic Union: An EU-Like Legal Order in the Post-Soviet Space? HSE Working Papers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.p.hig.wpaper.53.law.2015