(CIDOB) The ongoing crisis in Russia-Ukraine relations is more often than not discussed in regional security context, with some tendency of either diminishing or even denying its profound reverberations for the entire EU and the whole Euro-Atlantic community. The starting point for my analysis is different: I stem from the momentous implications of this crisis for the entire international society, since its ensuing repercussions are likely to determine the underlying rules and norms shaping international relations in a long run. That is why we need a wider picture of EU-Russia-Ukraine relations that encompass an ample array of issues of global scale.
The puzzle I am going to tackle boils down to Russia's reversal of its earlier voluntary acceptance of the Western hegemonic order, largely based on liberal principles of governance. Nowadays, late Putin's Russia, being sympathetic with Realpolitik strategies, wants structural changes in Europe and beyond, aimed at challenging EU's liberal policies of democracy and widely spread post-modernist conceptions of post-sovereignty, post-nationalism, etc. A question deserving attention at this juncture is what explains Russia's U-turn from the integration into the liberal international order to its contestation? Perhaps, the easiest answer would be that the latter disappointed Russia, but why is it so, and where are the roots of the current conflict between Russia and the West? Does it have to be explicated by irreconcilable divergences, mutual misunderstanding and misperceptions, or a failure to strike a pragmatic deal?