The competitive dynamic between Russia and the West has come to a head in Ukraine. The overall security challenge is, that all of the so-called “in-between” states (those outside of Euro-Atlantic institutions: Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) are in fact objects of competition among outside powers. This contest has become a negative-sum game, benefiting none of the parties: the West and Russia now find themselves caught up in a dangerous and damaging competition as a result, while the states in the region remain to varying degrees unstable, unreformed, and rife with conflict. This publication is offering alternatives to the current approaches to regional integration.
It has two interrelated central objectives. First, to identify the common ground among all parties regarding regional order for “in-between” Europe and Eurasia. Building on this effort, the second objective is to outline alternative regional integration mechanisms. Based on the results of intense discussions of a working group, consisting of scholars and former politicians from EU member states, Russia, “in-between” states and the US, the articles of the publication have its purpose in transforming the “in-between” states – including those that are members of Russia-led institutions – from objects of geopolitical competition and sources of geopolitical conflict into secure, prosperous, and modern countries that are at peace with all their neighbors. Because a shared agenda for regional integration would seriously stabilize relations between Russia and the West.