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Nicholas Ross Smith

The EU has often been positioned as a potential economic superpower; an entity which uses its sizeable economy to pursue a powerful and coherent foreign policy. This chapter examines the EU’s trade policies towards Ukraine and Russia, with a strong focus on the Ukraine crisis, to assess whether it fits the bill as an emerging economic superpower. After a substantial examination of the EU-Russia-Ukraine trade triangle, before and after the crisis, two interrelated questions are raised. Firstly, to what extent did the EU’s trade policies contribute to the Ukraine crisis and, secondly, what lessons can the EU learn from the crisis? Ultimately, this chapter contends that the EU does have significant trade power which can be used to pursue foreign policy goals, but serious questions remain as to its effectiveness and coherency, which raises long-term questions about the EU’s potential to emerge as an economic superpower.