Stereotypes influences on economic relations between the European Union countries and Russian Federa...

The uncertainty with regard to the prospects of Russian democracy seems to have been induced by the following three factors.

Stereotypes influences on economic relations between the European Union countries and Russian Federa...


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The EU is the main source of technology, know-how and investment for Russia. As regards foreign direct investment, companies from EU Member States are the major foreign investors in Russia. The EU has a vital interest in promoting prosperity in its largest neighbor. The European and Russian markets are fundamentally complementary: both the EU and Russia each have strengths that could be shared to mutual benefit. The EU is a knowledge-based economy that, simultaneously, needs to lift its long-term growth prospects; while Russiais a high-growth emerging economy necessitating a knowledge base able to exploit its

historic strengths in advanced science and technology. Trade and investment flows between the EU and Russia are already significant but they tend to be concentrated in sectors where barriers are low and regulatory systems are compatible. For their part EU companies wanting to invest in Russia have often been held back by legislative and bureaucratic obstacles, as well as by high tariffs, for example on imported components. Such barriers reduce our shared competitiveness. Negative influence of stereotypes on economic relations can form obstacle for economic collaboration. Apparently both Russia and the European Union will benefit from the increase of trade operations, investments and travel. Private capital cannot be locked by national borders, and money tends to go to the regions that provide more favorable conditions, including protection of capital investments, and where profits are reputed to be the highest. Russia's primary attention, therefore, ought to be attached to eliminating the obstacles obstructing the development of contacts and cooperation at any level from reducing the duration of cargoes' and vehicles' customs clearing procedures to cutting the «red tape» in the relations between Russia and the European Union. So the EU and Russia are interested in definition and destroying of stereotypes for successful business relations.

Problem of research: Stereotypes influences on economic relations between the European Union countries and Russian Federation.

Objects of research: economic relations

Subject of research: The influence of stereotypes on economic relations.

The aim of research is to identify influence of stereotypes on economic relations between the European Union countries and Russian Federation.

Steps to be followed:

1.To identify stereotypes that influence economic relations between EU and Russia.

2.To find out consequences of influence of stereotypes on economic relations between EU and Russia.

3.To find out a possible solutions for the problem of negative influence of stereotypes.

4.To investigate results of the first attempts solving problem.

5.To make general conclusion.

Research methods: Theoretical analysis and synthesis information.


Main body.


Step 1.Stereotypes that influence on economic relations between the European Union countries and Russia.


In spite of powerful impulses encouraging the development of strategic partnership relations between Russia and the European Union their future relations are largely predetermined by the success Russia will achieve in its domestic system transformation, on the one hand, and by

the final results of the EU radical transformation, on the other. The uncertainty surrounding the process of future democratic and socio-economic transformations in Russia is viewed as the main hindrance in the relations between Russia and the European Union. Since the 1990s

Europe has experienced serious apprehensions about the prospects of the democratic reform in Russia. All those apprehensions have caused many other problems in the relations between Russia and the European Union: absence of any strategic goals in the EU-Russia relations which may create a risk of the growing gap between the unifying Europe and Russia.

The uncertainty with regard to the prospects of Russian democracy seems to have been induced by the following three factors. First, by the stereotypes juxtaposing Russian and European values as incompatible. Second, by the Soviet syndrome. Third, by the mistakes made by the Russian leaders in the past decade (the use of force for resolving Russia's internal political crisis in October 1993; the warfare in Chechnya; implementation of controlled democracy) which impelled Europe to question Russia's adherence to democratic principles. The EU countries, as well as Western countries as a whole, however, were not impartial observers and they often showed neglectful and cynical attitude toward Russia's vested interests. On the one hand, they flouted the premise that Russian democracy could only succeed under the conditions of favorable external environment instilled by them; on the other, they showed distrust to the future democratic transformations in Russia giving preference to stability rather than democracy in Russian society. The absence of any long-term concept of the relations between Russia and the European Union and the strategic objectives determining their current policies is viewed as the main obstacle preventing Russia and the European Union from working out the principles of effective policy with regard to one another. The last reasons are internal political development in Russia and fears of its Western partners concerning the direction in which it is moving. One of the most widely spread Western stereotypes is that there is an unfathomable, an almost genetic, gap between the Russian and EU values. It is said that Russians have an inbred tendency for authoritarianism. Large-scale study on the image of Russian business abroad, carried out by the Center of Knowledge Management (CKM) of the Mikhailov and Partners Company bears witness to the highly skeptical relationship of the West towards all that is happening in Russia. Undoubtedly, there is an objective premise for this. But at the same time, the negative perceptions of many processes and occurrences in Russian business are based upon antiquated stereotypes, the tendencies of mass media and unavoidable projections of the image of the country in the reputation of its corporate citizens. The fundamental factor currently determining the perceptions of Russian business abroad is Russia's image, which unfortunately still has a negative influence In contrast to prominent foreign transnational companies, Russian business is still not able to distance itself from its country's image because it does not have an image of its own. It is perceived in the West through the prism of many unfavorable stereotypes, some arising from the time of the “cold war” (the KGB, the enemy of Western Democracy, totalitarianism), some from the time of reform (criminals, corruption, the politicization of business, imperial ambitions), and others during the presidency of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. A poll taken in 2003 at the request of the Putin government highlighted the depths of the problem. Europeans were asked to name 10 things they associate with Russia. Most of the audience named communism, the KGB, snow and the mafia. A single positive association - Russian art and culture - appeared last in the list.

The majority of those who took part in the recent survey, who are journalists for both Russian and foreign publications, named corruption, the influence of state power in all socio-intellectual spheres, the ineffectiveness of the legal system, totalitarian tendencies and tight control of information as key components in the image of modern Russia.

The "YUKOS affair", the scandal surrounding the law on NGOs and the gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine have all had a negative impact on the image of Russia, with state influence and totalitarian tendencies playing some part in these events.

There is however, a small audience that views Russia and its business differently. These are Western businessmen working on the Russian market or directors of projects with Western companies. They see the high lucrative ness of investing in Russian economics and the serious economic possibilities of Russian partners. However, this audience is limited to representatives of prominent businesses connected to the fuel-energy and metallurgic industries and the finance sector. They are well informed in their spheres and do not add greatly to the public image of Russian companies in their own countries. Besides the stereotypes of Russia and the country's image, the negative view of Russian business in the West also stems from a lack of information about companies, their public strategies and perspectives and, in particular, the lack of outstanding persons (headliners). Without such “ambassadors” and prominent public events Russian business is simply uninteresting for mass publications and channels. The non-Russian perceptions of Russia and the Russian culture are quite stereotype: "Russia is an unstable and in many ways backward country that needs to develop significantly before it can join the family of pluralistic, predictable Western states." The Western way of responding to this view of Russia is to take upon itself to educate the Russians, while another keep an arms length distance. The often highly educated Russians are naturally offended by the one-dimensional way the Westerners view them.

Step2. Consequences of influence of stereotypes on economic relations between EU and Russia.


Russian companies also underestimate the role of mass media in forming an image in the eyes of its foreign audience. Russian business therefore, until now, has remained “a cat in the bag” and because of this is feared. Fundamentally, its shape is formed de-facto by three figures: YUKOS, Roman Abramovich and Gazprom, w

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