In his lecture, Dr. Trenin explains the tectonic shift that occurred in Russia’s foreign policy following the rupture with the United States and the European Union as a result of the 2014 Ukraine crisis. Having simultaneously abandoned its Plan A – integration into the wider West, and Plan B – re-integration of former Soviet lands into a tightly knit power unit controlled by Moscow, Russia was faced with the challenge of finding a new framework for its foreign policy. What has emerged, in the course of the last three years, is Greater Eurasia replacing Greater Europe. With Beijing moving west, and Moscow turning toward the east, China and Russia, instead of colliding with each other, have agreed to “harmonise” their strategies. Russia is also reaching out to India, Iran, and Turkey, to coordinate policies and expand ties. Rapprochement with Japan continues at a steady pace.
Dr. Trenin addressed the following questions in particular: With Europe also part of the Greater Eurasian space, what is its new place and role in Russia’s foreign policy? How do the Russians view the EU’s future? What is in store for Russia’s relations with Germany? With the post-Cold War pattern of Russia-Europe relations in tatters, what is emerging as the new normal?