Date Added: Oct 2010
Old-style realpolitik - bilateral, sentiment-free, and organized by great powers - has returned to Europe, thereby wreaking havoc on traditions of solidarism and multilateralism in the European Union. The renaissance of the Russian state and the rise of Gazprom, Russia's natural gas monopoly, have produced patterns of international politics that seemed almost inconceivable just a few years ago. Three of Europe's major powers - France, Germany, and Italy - have cultivated bilateral energy relations with Russia at the expense of a common stance on the continent's dependence on Russian gas, and much to dismay of other EU members. This pattern of international relations carries profound implications for theory and practice.