Putin and Erdogan: a new year and new challenges in EU neighborhood

Marc Pierini writes in EU Observer that Putin and Erdogan will in 2015 continue their anti-European rhetoric and use of force at times, but they will engage the EU for vital economic reasons. Putin is pursuing his Eurasian Union project, but Russia needs to remain the EU’s top gas supplier in order to halt further decline of the Russian economy. Erdogan’s AKP sees EU accession requirements as threats to the power it wields, but the ruling Turkish power will need to preserve Turkey’s economy to stay in power and that, too, will require some positive relations with the EU. Pierrini argues that despite the threats from Putin and Erdogan, Brussels has the opportunity to remain the stabilizing force in the region.


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