chapter  3
Is Russia Out of Step with European Norms? Assessing Russia’s Relationship to European Identity, Values and Norms Through the Issue of Self-Determination
ByJames Headley
Pages 22

An alternative view was expressed in a letter of response by the former Prime

Minister of Australia, Malcolm Fraser:

Beyond the differing interpretations of events in Georgia and Kosovo, divergent

views are expressed here as to what constitute ‘European ways of doing things’—that

is, ‘European norms’—and whether Russia conforms with or disregards such ways of

doing things. But why should the debate be framed in these terms? Partly, it reflects the

language of European Union enlargement and integration. For the EU, European

norms are ways of behaving-domestically and internationally-that all its members

share, and which are promoted beyond the borders of the EU. It is also in part because

the question of Russia’s ‘Europeanness’ has a long history as a symbol in debates over

Russia’s domestic and foreign policy. In the contemporary context, responses in

Russia to EU rhetoric often emphasise Russia’s ‘Europeanness’ and adherence to

‘European norms’, while also objecting to the imposition of a specific set of policies

and any interference in Russia’s internal affairs.