It is in the interests of both Russia and the European Union to pursue cooperation with one another, particularly as the international system becomes increasingly multi-polar. Anti-ballistic Missile (ABM) deployment in Poland puts a strain on EU-Russian relations, and both parties must confront the issue and engage in dialogue.

Carnegie Moscow Center hosted Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz, an independent expert at the Center for Eastern Studies (CES) in Warsaw, to discuss recent trends in EU-Russia relations, and how points of conflict on key security issues could be overcome. Carnegie's Sam Greene, Irina Kobrinskaya of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, RAS, Kirill Koktysh of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Yuri Deryabin of the Institute of Europe, RAS, Slawomir Debski of the Polish Institute of International Affairs, and others participated in the discussion. Carnegie’s Dmitri Trenin moderated.

EU-Russia Relations

Pelczynska-Nalecz explained that the EU should engage Russia in cooperation wherever possible, through methods such as visas and exchange programs. It should maintain a dialogue on issues of common interest, and ensure the development of a common foreign and security policy that can more easily facilitate effective cooperation. She also advocated further engagement with CIS countries interested in cooperation.

The 'Poland Factor'

Pelczynska-Nalecz noted that ABM deployment is the main source of conflict between Russia and Poland, since it directly affects Russia's interests. She explained, however, that the system is not aimed against Russia. Rather, ABM deployment will help Poland achieve its goal of developing a reliable partnership with the United States.