The development of relations between Russia and the European Union
Russians overwhelmingly see themselves as part of Europe, yet appreciate their Asian connection; there is a continuation of the 'Great Debate' between Westernizers and Slavophiles. Decades of official acrimony towards the EC were followed by acceptance of West European integration, if it did not involve Russia's isolation. After a period of rapprochement with Europe, a feeling of betrayal has recently grown in Russia. Nevertheless, the trend is for ever closer links with the West. From the EU's perspective, Member States' conflicting views on the New Europe hinder a united approach to solutions. The EU has gained a very strong position with the collapse of the CMEA. The EU-Russia Partnership Agreement shows that vested interests of EU producers often prevail, yet useful structures for political dialogue were nonetheless created, and the prospect of a common free trade area is momentous. The need for a new security structure is unlikely to be satisfied by NATO's Partnership for Peace, but the EU has failed to lead European calls for a WEU or CSCE-based security framework. The inheritance of the command economy has damaged foreign trade and investment conditions. Despite the transformation of the economy, much needs to be done to improve investment conditions for foreigners as well as for potential exporters - fiscal, export and property legislation must become workable, and the need to make a profit must be respected. Nonetheless, foreign investment projects are growing fast. The energy and aeronautics industries are used as case studies of the new possibilities for foreign investors and Russian exporters. Having long been aimed at restricting Russian economic growth, statecraft has become an instrument of growth. The EU's assistance is particularly beneficial as it is non-reimbursable and aims at long-term change through training, yet TACIS could be improved by better management, smaller projects and lower wages. Overall, Western investment in Russian stability should increase.