The Ukraine crisis and the Russian annexation of Crimea have reshaped the security environment in Europe. In 2014, Western experts and decision-makers grappled with how a partner of NATO and the European Union (EU) and a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe could so blatantly challenge the post-Cold War order by annexing part of a neighboring country. The Western security community finally acknowledged that Moscow never fully embraced the post-Cold War cooperative security approach, anchored in partnerships and win-win solutions to security challenges. What is being witnessed is the very beginning of a realignment of interests against the backdrop of a newly acknowledged European insecurity.

The report addresses the urgent need for a new approach to European security. The inherent limits and challenges to the Russian-Western partnership, institutional enlargements, disarmament, and other Western policies can no longer be ignored. In light of the Ukraine crisis, the dissonance between the Russian and the Western approaches to European security will not disappear, nor can it be appeased. The way forward requires nothing short of a new vision, which combines the carrot with the EU’s Eastern Partnership, the stick with NATO’s strategy of denial, and the wild card with the OSCE’s diplomatic card and crisis management tools.

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