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FT “Rethinks Russia”

The Financial Times has published an editorial on Russia today. I post here some extracts:

The European Union’s relationship with its most powerful neighbour is dysfunctional. Last week’s summit with Russia was a dismal affair, overshadowed by internal EU squabbling, the mysterious death of a former Russian spy and sundry rows over pipelines and food safety. Before the next summit in May, the EU needs a robust and unified policy that allows co-operation without offering Russia the chance to dictate terms. … The UK must make clear that if there is any sign of Kremlin involvement in the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the former spy and British citizen, the consequences will be grave for relations between London and Moscow. And, since Russia has refused to heed the EU’s calls to open up its own gas industry, it may also mean limiting access to EU energy assets for Gazprom, which is increasingly a tool of the Kremlin. The irony is that Europe’s main demand – a more open Russian energy market – is in Moscow’s own interest, since the country’s decaying infrastructure badly needs more investment. But for a resurgent Russia, giving foreigners greater control over the country’s chief natural resource is a difficult step to take of its own accord.