Larisa Kuzmitcheva

Telephone: +7 (4852) 380166, +7 902330852


The project focuses on the Visegrad Group’s contribution to the CFSP/ESDP, and specifically on the role of these four new member states in the making of EU foreign policy towards Russia. The research builds upon the following research questions: 1. What is the impact of the Visegrad Four (the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland) on further evolution of EU CFSP/ESDP? 2. Should the Visegrad Four be perceived as a coherent group or do the countries possess different strategies regarding CFSP? 3. Is the Visegrad group forum used anyhow for preliminary coordination of its members’ positions on CFSP/ESDP? 4. What place should EU foreign policy towards Russia occupy among other CFSP priorities? 5. Do the countries try to pull the EU foreign policy towards Eastern dimension (and to what extent each of them), and what is the balance of attention towards Russia and such countries as e.g. Ukraine and Belarus? 6. What are bilateral relations between Russia and the respective countries? 7. To what degree should Russia be included in a dialogue on European Neighbourhood Policy and ESDP? Political and academic debate (both in Russia and the West) on the eve of the 2004 enlargement often focused on its implications for EU-Russia relations. Many sceptics warned that the result of EU enlargement could be a tougher EU policy towards Russia (since the new members states are more sensitive to such issues as human rights, freedom of mass media, democracy building, which, according to some experts, have recently been neglected in Russia). For the last 3 years, there have indeed been dramatic developments in the EU-Russia dialogue. Albeit in 2005 the EU and Russia signed a single package of road maps for the creation of the four Common spaces, since then they have not been able to elaborate and sign a new binding treaty, regulating EU-Russia relations. Both actors have not found any solution or compromise, which could make Poland lifting its veto on the launch of negotiations. Generally, there has been a lack of commonality in the EU and Russian positions on and reactions towards particular issues, e.g.: 1. developments in the EU-Russia common neighbourhood; 2. credibility of Russia as an energy supplier; 3. frozen conflicts and their resolution (Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova); 4. developments in Russian domestic affairs etc. This research seeks to explain to what extent the EU-Russia strategic partnership over the last few years have been affected by the impact of enlargement or current EU-Russia relations should be rather explained within wider political and security transformations. For this purpose, the project investigates few levels of interaction: 1. The EU-Russia political cooperation as well as a dialogue on security issues since EU enlargement in 2004; 2. The Visegrad Group’s common contribution (and separately by each country) to EU external actions and specifically EU policy towards Russia. 3. Bilateral relations between Russia and the members of the Visegrad Group. Methodologically, the research is based on analysis of major foreign policy documents, conclusions of the EU-Russia summits and the European Councils; official speeches, statements and interviews of politicians and officials of Russia, the EU, and the selected new member states. The analysis also takes into account the results of interviews with Russian academics and diplomats, the EU officials, the new members states’ officials and experts, and diplomats of member states’ permanent representations to the EU.






    Other Information

    Base Institution for the EFSPS Programme (September 2006-September 2007): the International Institute of Political Science, Masaryk University, Brno, the Czech Republic.

    Permanent position: senior lecturer, the P.G. Demidov State University of Yaroslavl, Russia