Hybrid CoE Trend Report 9: Eastern Partnership countries in flux: From identity politics to militarization of foreign relations

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) has served the European Union in its political and economic engagement with Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan for more than 13 years. Since its beginning, the EaP has been treated by Russia as a battlefield for influence and dominance, but the real game changer has been the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Against this backdrop, this Hybrid CoE Trend Report identifies 5 trends that influence the hybrid threat potential in the EaP countries: the redefinition of the EU’s role; Russian utilization of identity politics; the militarization of foreign relations in Eastern Europe; Russian instrumentalization of economic interdependencies; and the “vassalization” of Belarus.

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Trend Report

An outcome of the meetings of Hybrid CoE expert pools, composed of top-ranking experts from different Hybrid CoE Participating States. Highlights trends and theme clusters related to hybrid threats, provides multiple perspectives on current security challenges and generates academic discourse on the topic. Aims to distinguish between what constitutes a threat, what appears to be a threat but is not necessarily one, and what has the potential to become one.

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Eastern Partnership countries