EU Eastern Partnership, Ontological Security and EU- Ukraine/Russian warfare

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This article aims to analyse security within Europe’s Eastern Partnership as perceived from the outside – notably by Russia. It analyses the impact of Russia’s security on European security thinking in its Eastern Partnership through the lens of ontological security. Russia’s relationship with the West, based on its ontological security fears, is characterised by the collective trauma and stigma of USSR disintegration. Europe’s ontological security anxiety and fear in its relationship with Russia is caused by the wars in Georgia and Ukraine, as well as Russia’s hybrid warfare. The ontological security interaction in the Eastern Neighbourhood has had two effects: (1) it heightened Putin’s emphasis on the protection of spiritual, cultural and national identity and how the stigma of territorial loss plays a strategic role on the ability to build Russian collective identity reflexively; and (2) Russia has aimed at a re-construction of Europe along different geopolitical lines, whereby Dugin’s Eurasian views have shaped Putin’s discourse. This article analyses the EU’s policy and practices following the war in Ukraine (in two phases in 2014 and 2022) in the Eastern Neighbourhood.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2183182
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Studies
Issue number00
Early online date26 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2023


  • European Union
  • Eastern partnership
  • Russia
  • ontological security
  • Sanction regime


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