Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Baltic Journal of European Studies

Tallinn Law School, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology

2 Issues per year


CiteScore 2016: 0.21

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.140

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2228-0596
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Russia between China and the European Union: Friends or Foes?

Juhan Värk
Published Online: 2013-06-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bjes-2013-0003

Abstract

For a long time Russia has regarded the European Union and China as its main economic and trade partners, giving preference to the EU. A sudden change occurred in October 2008, when as a response to the EU’s sharp criticism of the Kremlin over the Georgian-Russian military conflict, Russia decided to re-orient its foreign economic and trade policy from the EU to China and partially also to India. At the same time Russian-Chinese military and energy cooperation started to grow. Russia sold China oil and gas at low price and supplied it with advanced weaponry, which has increased China’s aggression toward its neighbours. Russia also started to politically and militarily support China’s activities in Syria and Iran, which, in turn, worsened Russia’s relations with several EU Member States, including Germany, France and Italy, with whom Russia was planning to cooperate in the developing of the Nord Stream gas pipeline project. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin still declares a great continuing friendship and solidarity with China and is hoping to see the worsening of China’s conflict with the US, which, Putin claims, could avert China’s direct conflict with Russia. Several leading Russian military and political experts describe this hope as unrealistic. At the same time, the volume of EU-Russian mutual trade was almost 395 billion US dollars in 2011, which exceeds in volume the Chinese-Russian trade volume by more than four times. It shows that Russia’s trade reset from the EU to China has been negligible. Also, it is bad news for Russia and China that Iran today stifles cooperation with Georgia and Chinese separatist Uyghurs, and Syrian Bashar al-Assad’s regime is developing cooperation with al Qaeda, and does not explain Russia’s and China’s current similar foreign policy toward Iran and Syria.

Keywords : China; conflict; cooperation; European Union; Russia

  • A Report to Congress (2011), Military and Security Developments Involving the People’sRepublic of China: A Report to Congress Pursuant to the National DefenceAuthorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Washington, D.C.: Office of the Secretary of Defense.Google Scholar

  • Bishop, B. (2012), ‘Welcome to the Xi Jinping Era,’ The New York Times, 19 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/welcome-to-thexi-jinping-era/ [accessed Nov 2012]Google Scholar

  • BOFIT (2012a), The Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition WeeklyReport on China, Helsinki: BOFIT, 20 Jan 2012. -- (2012b), The Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition Weekly Reporton China, Helsinki: BOFIT, 30 Nov 2012.Google Scholar

  • Chau, W. C. H. (2011), ‘Explaining China’s Participation in Bilateral and Multilateral Military Exercises,’ Security Challenges, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 51-69.Google Scholar

  • Cheng, J. & Cohen, A. (2012), ‘Russia and China: A NATO of the East?’ Al JazeeraEnglish, 7 Jun 2012. Retrieved from http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2012/06/20126783558530464.html [accessed Nov 2012]Google Scholar

  • ‘China PLA Army Weapons’ (2012), China PLA Army Weapons 2012. Images retrieved from http://www.china-defense-mashup.com/chinas-arsenal/china-pla-armyweapons [accessed Aug 2012]Google Scholar

  • China Today (2012), Chinese military forces (up to 2012). Retrieved from http://www.chinatoday.com/arm/ [accessed Aug 2012]Google Scholar

  • Direct/NEWS (2012), ‘Putin v panike: Kitai gotovit razrushenije Rossii,’ Direct/NEWS, 3 May 2012. Retrieved from http://www.directadvert.ru/news/txt/?id=74761&da_id=3299052 [accessed Aug 2012]Google Scholar

  • Eesti Päevaleht (2010), ‘Venemaa Kaug-Ida massiline hiinastamine on müüt,’ EestiPäevaleht, 27 Oct 2010.Google Scholar

  • Euronews (2012), ‘Russia-China relations.’ Euronews, 5 Jun 2012. Retrieved from http://www.euronews.com/2012/06/05/russia-china-relations/ [accessed Nov 2012]Google Scholar

  • Fenby, J. (2012), ‘Beijing’s Dangerous Self-Protection,’ The New York Times, 15 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/opinion/beijingsdangerous-self-protection.html [accessed Nov 2012]Google Scholar

  • Hanso, H. (2011), ‘Ida uus suurvõim,’ Diplomaatia, November 2011, no. 99.Google Scholar

  • Hiietamm, A. (2012), ‘Hiinlane Xi Jinping - tõenäoliselt mõjukaim mees kogu maailmas,’ Õhtuleht, 25 Nov 2012.Google Scholar

  • Kuzmina, N. & Antonov, M. (2012), ‘Amerikanskiie i evropeiskiie proizvoditeli mogut perenesti proizvodstva iz Kitaia v Rossiiu,’ Komsomolskaya Pravda, 23 Nov 2012.Google Scholar

  • Kuznetsova, J. (2012), ‘Analitik: Borba ES s krisisom mozhet srikoshetit po Rossii,’ MTRK “Mir”- Novosti sotruzhestva, 28 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.mir24.tv/news/economy/6011275 [accessed Dec 2012]Google Scholar

  • Liqun, Z. (2010), China’s Foreign Policy Debates, EUISS Chaillot Papers, no. 121 (Sept. 2010).Google Scholar

  • Mills, I. (2011), ‘A New Era in China-Russian Relations?’ World Politics Review, 18 Oct 2011. Retrieved from http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/10369/anew-era-in-china-russia-relations [accessed Sept 2012]Google Scholar

  • NEWSru (2008), ‘Ekonomika. Rossiia meniaet orientaciu v ekonomike: ona perenapravit svoi eksport s Evrosoiuza na Indiu i Kitaia,’ NEWSru, 27 Oct 2008. Retrieved from http://www.newsru.com/finance/27oct2008/change_print.html [accessed Nov 2008]Google Scholar

  • Regnum (2011), ‘Hu Jintao prikazal VMF Kitaja gotovica k voinie,’ IA Regnum, 7 Dec 2011.Google Scholar

  • - (2012a), ‘Kitai ugrozhaet Amerike “sovokupnoi mashiu”?’ IA Regnum, 16 May 2012.Google Scholar

  • - (2012b), ‘O Kitaisko-Russkikh obchikh voienno-morskikh ucheniakh,’ IA Regnum, 9 Aug 2012.Google Scholar

  • RF DM Press Release (2009), Russian Federation Defense Ministry’s press release about the press conference of General-Colonel Aleksandr Zelin in Moscow on 5 Aug 2009 (Copy of document).Google Scholar

  • - (2012), Press release on the statement of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Lavrov at the “Government hour” in Russia’s State Duma, 20 May 2012 (Copy of document). Google Scholar

  • RT: Question more (2012), ‘Russia and China: new horizons for cooperation,’ RT:Question more, 5 Jun 2012. Retrieved from http://www.rt.com/politics/officialword/putin-russia-china-article-997/print/ [accessed Aug 2012]Google Scholar

  • Sorokin, N. (2012), ‘Sammit ES i Rossii budet zanimaca slozhnymi voprosami,’ TheVoice of Russia, 29 Nov 2012.Google Scholar

  • Tatlow, D. K. (2012), ‘Strongmen Still Cast a Long Shadow in China,’New York Times, 14 Nov 2012.Google Scholar

  • Weitz, R. (2007), ‘China and Russia Hand in Hand: Will it Work?’ Global Asia, vol. 2.Google Scholar

  • - (2008), China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism WithoutPartnership or Passion? Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute.Google Scholar

  • Xin, C. (2012), ‘The financial crisis and EU-China trade interdependency,’ New Europe, 2 Sep 2012. Retrieved from http://www.neurope.eu/blog/financial-crisis-and-euchina-trade-interdependency [accessed Oct 2012]Google Scholar

  • Zeenews India (2012), ‘China and Russia signed 10 “crucial” agreements,’ ZeenewsIndia, 6 Jun 2012. Retrieved from http://www.zeenews.india.com/news/world/china-and-russia-sign-10-crucial-agreements_780126.html [accessed Aug 2012]Google Scholar

  • Zenko, M. & Cohen, M.A. (2012), ‘Clear and Present Safety,’ Foreign Affairs, March/ April 2012.Google Scholar

About the article

Juhan Värk

Juhan Värk, PhD (2012) is Professor at the Estonian-American Business Academy and guest lecturer of the Euroacademy. His fields of interest are economic development problems, EU economics, EU-Russia relations and economic security problems. He has been national security and European integration advisor to the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu), has been working as a consultant in the Estonian Social Affairs Ministry and in some Estonian companies (N-Terminal Group, Ltd., ECO-Group, Ltd., etc.). He has participated in the activities of the Pompidou/INCB work group under the European Council and at the Finnish-Azerbaijan cooperation work group at the Finnish Parliament (Eduskunta) as a foreign expert.


Published Online: 2013-06-18

Published in Print: 2013-06-01


Citation Information: Baltic Journal of European Studies, ISSN (Print) 2228-0596, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bjes-2013-0003.

Export Citation

This content is open access.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in