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Russia’s foreign policy has taken numerous unexpected turns in recent years, from annexation of Crimea to military intervention in Syria. The element of surprise for Germany and the EU arises out of a mix of lack of political transparency in Russia, Western misperceptions and the Kremlin’s deliberate instrumentalisation of unpredictability.
In order to expand analytical thinking about Russian foreign policy and improve preparedness for future events, this scenario study based on scientific research describes eleven possible situations that could potentially unfold in the coming years. Four fields of Russian policy are considered: EU member states; other regions; internet, energy and security; and Eurasia.
Without seeking to be exhaustive, the contributions reflect “conceivable surprises” that could present great challenges and even dangers for Germany and Europe, but could also offer possibilities for closer cooperation. Applying their academic expertise, the authors reveal existing trends and extrapolate them into the future. The described situations are not simply made up, of course, but are based on existing structures and developments. Rather than seeking to predict the future, or specifics event, the study surveys “possible futures”.