In 1999, the EU and Russia concluded a strategic partnership. Four years on, it has become clear that their partnership lacks strategic vision. Nor do the two sides always behave like partners. Bilateral dealings are often characterised by mistrust and frustration. Disagreements over individual issues, be it transit rights for Kaliningrad or steel export quotas, are regularly allowed to highjack the entire relationship. There is a widening gap between acrimonious negotiations on technical details and the heady rhetoric that characterises the biannual EU-Russia summits.