On the 20th and the 27th November 2017, CCCB and CIDOB looked at the relationship between the EU and Russia in discussions with Mikhail Zygar and Judy Dempsey.
In the Margins of Europe is a CCCB project that aims to spark a reflection on the European project, starting at its geographic and symbolic periphery. This series approaches the political and social reality of contemporary Russia, a country that is at once unknown to many yet of crucial importance to politics in Europe.
Over a quarter of a century after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has once again emerged as a central geopolitical player. Its complex relationship with the European project, the authoritarianism of its leaders and the importance of its vast energy resources are a source of tension for the continent. Yet European history cannot be understood without considering the country’s cultural, scientific and political contributions. Beyond the political spectacle lies a fascinating country that plays an indispensable part in understanding Europe today and in contemplating the future of the world we live in.
This introduction to this discussion is in Catalan, but Judy Dempsey speaks in English and starts talking at 02:44
About the discussion:
In this discussion, the renowned journalist and researcher, Judy Dempsey, reflects on Russia’s role in Europe and its geopolitical implications.
From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Ukrainian Revolution and the War in the Donbass, Russia has played a central role in contemporary European politics. The strategic importance of the country’s natural resources allows it to control a considerable part of the continent’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the border separating Russian interests from those of countries in the rest of Europe has also led to conflict, with the Russian government’s interests often overlapping with those of the former Eastern Bloc countries, which tend to look to the European Union for support and solidarity.
The introduction to this discussion is in Catalan, but Mikhail Zygar speaks in English and starts talking at 04:36
About the discussion:
In this session, Mikhail Zygar discusses the power exercised by Vladimir Putin, the internal politics of contemporary Russia and the social contradictions that are rife within the country.
Vladimir Putin has been criticised by some as authoritarian. Others equate his political position with that of a CEO. What is clear is that, with the help of a small circle of advisors, Putin has created an entire system of government around himself. Mikhail Zygar tells the story in his best-seller, All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin (Public Affairs, 2016), based on interviews within the Russian president’s inner circle.
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