Online Course - EU-Russia Relations: Between the Vilnius and Riga Eastern Partnership Summits, University of Tartu

Publish Date: Feb 12, 2016

Course authors:  Anna Beitane, Givi Gigitashvili, Thomas Linsenmaier
Course duration:  6 weeks
Course dates: 29.02.2016

Course target group

Everyone interested in international affairs and EU-Russia relations, especially master degree and bachelor students in European and Russian studies, international relations and political science.

The course also serves as an introductory course for the students interested in, or accepted to, the master’s degree programme in EU-Russia Studies offered by the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies.

Course certification: 

Students who successfully complete the weekly quizzes and pass the final exam will receive the University of Tartu certificate. 

Course preliminary knowledge: 

Basic knowledge of international relations and EU-Russia relations terminology is recommended, but not required as the course will provide some background material to all students interested in the course. 

Course description

The main aim of the course is to provide an interdisciplinary overview of EU-Russia relations through showcasing its dynamics and multi-vectorness from economics, security, political science, and media studies perspectives; as well as to demonstrate the impact of both actors’ policies on the post-Soviet space.
The temporal focus is on the period between November 2013 and May 2015. The course is organized into five lectures and covers such key events in EU-Russia relations as the Eastern Partnership Summits in Vilnius and Riga; the Sochi Olympics; the annexation of Crimea; as well as the imposition of EU’s sanctions on Russia and the Kremlin’s food embargo on European goods. The course also discusses and explains such theoretical concepts as ‘state identity’, ‘soft annexation’ and the main principles of economic sanctions.
In addition, the course includes video interviews with external experts, varying from academic researchers to Estonian MEPs.

Course authors biography

MA Student in the EU-Russia Studies Programme
Anna Beitāne is a second year student in the EU-Russia Studies programme at the European College, University of Tartu. She obtained her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Security Studies from the University of Bradford (United Kingdom). Her area of expertise involves politics of Russia and former Soviet bloc, EU-Russia relations, e-democracy and democratic insinuation/reform building with a geographical focus on Russia and Eastern Europe. Her works has been previously published in the Latvian Foreign and Security Yearbook (2014, 2015) and Baltic Rim Economies. 
MA Student in the EU-Russia Studies Programme
Givi Gigitashvil is a second year student in the EU-Russia Studies programme at the European College, University of Tartu. He holds bachelor’s degree in international relations from Tbilisi State University. (Georgia). The areas of his expertise comprise international politics, Russian foreign policy, the EU-Russia relations, Eastern Partnership program etc. Currently, he is cotributing editor at the Beyond the EU and the New East Platform.
PhD Student
Thomas Linsenmaier is a PhD student at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. University of Tartu. He received his Diploma (MA equivalent) in Political Science from Free University Berlin in 2011. His main research interests revolve around International Relations theory, particularly the English School tradition, and issues related to European integration, EU foreign policy and diplomacy. In his PhD project, Thomas is working on the English School’s account of the regional level, with a focus on the interplay between the international societies of Europe and the so-called “post-Soviet space”.
Course completion requirements: 
Final result is composed of the following elements:
  • 60% weekly quizzes 
  • 40% final exam

In order to pass the quizzes and the final exam, students are required to watch the video lectures and read the compulsory reading material. Students also have to fill in the pre-course and post-course surveys. 

Course outcomes: 
Upon completing the course students will:
  • Describe and compare the changing dynamics of EU-Russia relations from political science, international relations, economics, and media studies perspectives.
  • Name and list the main institutional actors of the EU as well as their role in forming relations with Russia.
  • Describe how Russian domestic politics impacts its bilateral relations with the EU.
  • Be able to explain theoretical concepts such as ‘state identity’ and the principles of economic sanctions in EU-Russia relations.
  • Be able to carry on analysis of important documents and media texts in the field of EU-Russia relations, and explain the results.

Similar Opportunities


International Relations

Political Sciences

Opportunity Types


Eligible Countries