According to Sabine Fischer, Head of Eastern Europe and Eurasia division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the Russia-EU relations are at a very difficult state of affairs. The EU Eastern Partnership project met certain difficulties. New ways of dealing with Russia are required. If Russia rejects the Europeanization concept, The EU has to accept it in short and medium term. As to the Eastern neighborhood, it is difficult to use one instrument for six very different countries. Differentiation of instruments in Eastern Partnership is needed, especially because of the Ukraine crisis.
The EU now has 5 guiding principles regarding relations with Russia, where the Eastern Partnership for the first time is one of key elements, even if we talk about no Europeanization, integration or strategic partnership with Russia. There is still misunderstanding regarding relations between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union. But in any case the EU officials have to admit that the EAEU is not going away and will remain. Moreover, we cannot say, that the idea of the free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivistok is dead. The project is still being discussed in the EU at different levels, especially in Germany.
The EU cannot be considered as important political actor in international affairs, it has very important weight in economy. In international crisis dealings the EU has lower profile. The first desire of the EU is to be surrounded by stable prosperous countries. In the international arena the EU is not a nation-state, but a union of 28, later 27 states.