This article focuses on attitudes towards Russia in Bulgaria and Hungary — two EU and NATO countries with special relations to Russia — in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and military intervention in support of separatists in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine in 2014 and onwards. We begin by putting the relations to Russia in a historical perspective. We then set out to account for support for Russia with the help of survey data from the Post-Crimea Barometer (2015) — a unique survey focusing on geopolitical orientation (East versus West) and attitudes towards Russia in Latvia, Hungary and Bulgaria in a post-Crimea setting. Latvia is a special case because of its large Russian minority population; we therefore confine our comparison to Bulgaria and Hungary. The findings suggest that long-term attachment to Russia is decisive in Bulgaria. In Hungary, long-term attachment to Russia is important, but not sufficient to account for post-Crimea attitudes towards Russia.
This article deals with the question of how German foreign policy can be characterized from a geopolitical perspective in an era in which the constellation of world politics is undergoing change, as evidenced by the conflict in Ukraine, shift in US foreign policy under President Trump and the on-going Brexit negotiations. In order to identify changes in the geopolitical orientation of German foreign policy and sketch a profile of German foreign policy, the article includes official German government documents. It can be concluded from the study that the geopolitical codes of German foreign policy are of a varying character, and can be characterized into three geopolitical spatial structures: the Atlantic, European and Eurasian regions. In terms of the geopolitical orientation of German foreign policy, the Federal Government develops German strategy in a multipolar world system, in which it aims to turn Europe into a world power. While the continued existence of NATO remains a goal of German foreign policy, the Federal Government, in unison with France, seeks a multipolar world order, in which Germany and France assume leading roles within the European spatial structure, and are liberated from US supremacy in the transatlantic spatial structure.
signs of mutual dis-
like would be even stronger.
Hence, Russia has annexed Crimea, but lost Ukraine.
The Ukrainians have become more Ukrainians.
Creating a homogenous nation of the society divided
by the language, history, heroes, geopoliticalorientation
and choices, is an exceptionally difficult task. When the
time was passing regional differences, thanks to the ef-
forts of politicians, mainly regional elites, did not de-
crease-on the contrary, they were increasing. Maidan,
supported by one half of the country and not support-
ed by the other, set yet
1938 and Slovak national revival. The lack of Western European feelings is seen in a vast number of opinion polls published in Munich Security Report 2018 (MSR 2018). Considering the first question dealing with the geopoliticalorientation, only 21% choose that Slovakia is a part of the Western EU, 9% voted for the Eastern EU, 28% did not know how to respond, and the majority of 42% responded that the geopoliticalorientation should be just between the West (EU) and East (Russia). Absolutely the lowest support of former post-communist countries has been shown within
Europe to historical borders”20 showed Poland’s objective
to make Ukraine similarly a member of NATO and EU.
The national security of Lithuania was not so directly related to Ukrai-
ne’s geopoliticalorientation and gravitation. Lithuania’s being a small coun-
19 Kuzio T. and Moroney J. “Ukraine and the West: Moving From Stability to Strategic Engagement”,
European Security, Vol.10, No. 2, 2001, p. 112-113.
20 Shapovalova N. and Kapusniak T. “Is Poland still committed to the Eastern neighbourhood?” Policy
Brief, No. 91, 2011, p. 35.
try conditioned not only the
and overall negotiations on the AA and DCFTA;
– Geopolitical escalation in Eastern Europe, illustrated by Russia’s imposed
pressure on Armenia and Ukraine, supplemented by Crimea’s occupation
and Russia’s military presence in Eastern Ukraine strengthened the
rationale towards toughening the geopoliticalorientation of Lithuania’s
foreign policy. Given on-going escalation, internal demand for the
introduction of a more tangible security component within the revised
EaP programme started to prevail in the political discourse.
Emergence of the EaP
representatives were engaged in the evaluation of the Lithuanian geographic
situation, historical experience and partly of the contemporary situation. They
tried to validate pro–Western foreign and security policy and emphasized the
virtues of Western geopoliticalorientation.6 One more group of security studies
was oriented towards the policy research and recommendations attempting to
highlight Lithuanian security issues and perspectives. Those texts have rarely
been integrated into more comprehensive discussions of security studies,
remaining instead in
market principles would eliminate the Russian policy that, in
2005, was summarised by its State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman
Konstantin Kosachyov whereby “Moscow will continue to subsidize energy supplies
to its ‘allies’. At the same time, it will promote ‘purely market mechanisms’ in bila-
teral relations with those neighbours that are not sufficiently loyal and that display
a ‘suspicious’ geopoliticalorientation”161. Market mechanisms are not beneficial
to Russia’s interests, as well as to the interests of today’s Belarus and Ukraine, as
conclude that Russia’s usa-
ge of the energy lever as a means of influence has changed in style over time.
During the 1990s, a higher degree of coercion was visible, while trends sug-
gested that the lever during the last couple of years has changed toward a more
sophisticated approach, increasingly utilized in the grey zone between politics
and economics. Russia’s overarching energy politics perspective is guided by
its strategic ambitions and geopoliticalorientations”.36
In 2006, Russia terminated oil supply to Lithuania through the Druzhba
pipeline. An eerie