On 15th and 16th October 2020 the European Leadership Network convened the Contact Group on Russia-West Relations via Zoom for its tenth meeting. The Contact Group brings together individuals who can impact national and European policymaking and public debate and who will shape or manage the consequences of present developments in Russia-West relations. Its aims are bridge building, networking, better mutual understanding and the generation of ideas for Europe’s future, including on overcoming the differences between Russia and the West.
The virtual meeting took place amid what can be described as the most serious crisis in EU-Russia relations since 2014, owing to the poisoning of Alexey Navalny, the deep divide between Brussels and Moscow over post-election developments in Belarus, and the continuing lack of real progress in resolving the crisis over Ukraine. The discussion covered the way ahead for Russia-West relations against the backdrop of recent developments, a more effective EU approach on Russia, the implications of growing Chinese assertiveness on EU-Russia relations, and younger generation trends in Russia and the West, which might turn the tide in Russia-West relations in two decades from now. This note summarizes the main themes of the discussion.
Read the full summary of the meeting here.