The new Western approach to Russia emerged at the Wales summit in 2014, as a response to its illegal annexation of Crimea and its ongoing military campaign in eastern Ukraine. It puts firmness and deterrence at the forefront when, before the events in 2014, dialogue and cooperation with Russia came first.

We should hold no illusions about Moscow’s intentions. Behind the bullying and disruption of pro-Western governments bordering Russia lies a clash of ideas. On the one side are the rule of law, an accountable bureaucracy and democratic elections kept in high regard; on the other you have an unconstrained state that can sacrifice its own citizens to preserve its rulers’ ambition.

But the clash is not only taking place in our shared neighborhood. Moscow clearly aims to undermine the liberal international order and Western unity that has served us well since the end of World War II. We see that in Europe, where Russia uses its energy resources as a weapon to divide allies from one another. Or when the state-funded TV station Russia Today spreads misinformation about the trade deal between the EU and the United States (TTIP), the Kremlin is trying to undermine a future source of creativity and prosperity. And when Russia is backing political parties in favoring a dissolution of the European Union.

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