Since the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of the war in Eastern Ukraine in spring 2014, the EU has largely been in crisis-management mode vis-à-vis Russia. During the past six years, it has become clear that Russia’s actions towards Ukraine are not a stand-alone crisis, but rather the expression of a policy that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states and does not seek compromise with western actors in the neighbourhood. It is associated with an approach that aims to weaken the EU and many of its member states. Finally, the case of Alexei Navalny, inter alia, has indicated that the Russian leadership is prepared to use brutality to prevent a viable political opposition from emerging. Considering all this, the EU needs a Russia policy that is capable of dealing with Russia more effectively.