Europe and the Enigma of Russia’s Strategic Vision

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Europe is encountering a multitude of challenges, and Russia is among the greatest ones. Moscow does not shy away from using brutal force when this fits its revisionist geopolitical goals; furthermore, its alleged involvement in the US and now France’s presidential elections demonstrate that the range of security risks emanating from Russia is widening. Russia’s strategic vision is enigmatic, ambiguous and unpredictable. Russia suffers from its ambiguous identity and axiological emptiness, as it has neither managed to fully integrate into either the western or any other civilization, nor appeared able to build own viable and consistent alternatives.

The paper considers instead key ideologemes and conceptual bases of Russia’s international policies and behavioural patterns by analysing not just actions per se but also Russia’s strategic documents (though easily ignored when needed) as well as writings by key nationalist authors.

Apparently, Russia will continue to act as a spoiler, anti-liberal propaganda powerhouse, and a threat to its neighbours. There is no simple idea how the West should respond, although we consider some general ideas. The question is how Europe, under current situation of disarray, stays consolidated, responds to the demonstration of force by overwhelming force, or develop effective containment and response strategy while continuing dialogue and cooperation when prudent.

Teona Lavrelasvili (

KU Leuven, College of Europe

As a PhD researcher at the KU Leuven I am focused on the countries of the wider Black Sea Region, including Russia. I’ve worked at the European Parliament as well as at the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies as a research team member. Back in Georgia I am a guest lecturer in the filed of European Political Parties, EU Institutions and political communication.

I have a Master’s Degree from the College of Europe (Bruges Campus) in EU political and administrative sciences and another in Public Administration from Speyer University.