Dr. Stefan Meister

Associate Fellow, Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia

Areas of Expertise

  • Russian foreign and security policy, EU-Russia relations
  • Russian energy, economic, and education policy
  • Eastern Partnership, especially in the Southern Caucasus, Belarus, and Ukraine
  • Russian relations in the post-Soviet space
  • Polish eastern policy regarding Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus


Russian, English, Polish


Email: meister@af.dgap.org

If you are interested in an internship in the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, please contact Alena Epifanova: epifanova@dgap.org.

Dr. Stefan Meister was Head of the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) from January 2017 until March 2019. Previously, he worked as the head of the program for Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia at the DGAP and as a senior policy fellow in the Wider Europe Team at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He has served several times as an election observer for the OSCE in post-Soviet countries and was responsible for University projects in Russian regions particularly in Kaliningrad. In the term 2015/16 Meister was visiting fellow at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington D.C. writing on German-Russian relations as well as on Russian disinformation and propaganda.

His areas of research include Russian domestic, foreign, and energy policy; EU-Russia relations; German-Russian relations, and post-Soviet conflicts particularly in the South Caucasus. In 2013 he edited a volume on Russia's policy towards post-Soviet countries and its implication for EU policy with Nomos. He writes extensively on Germany's Russia policy, the interrelationship between Russian domestic and foreign policy, as well as on Eastern Partnership.” He recently published as a co-author the book "The Eastern Question. Russia, the West and Europe's Grey zone" at Brookings press (2016).


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Selected Publications

A new start for Russian-EU Security Policy
The Weimar Triangle, Russia and the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood
by Stefan Meister
Genshagener Papiere 7, July 2011, 25 pages
A new start for Russian-EU Security Policy
The improvement in security policy cooperation between Russia and the USA since 2009, together with the extensive withdrawal of the USA from the post-Soviet region, has lead to an intensification in the security policy dialogue between Russia and the EU. As a consequence, the conflicts in the post-Soviet states have shifted into the focus of attention.
Category: International Policy/Relations, Russia, Western Europe
A turning point for Moldova?
A challenge for the EU and Moldova
by Stefan Meister
DGAPkompakt 3, May 20, 2011, 6 pp.
A turning point for Moldova?
Moldova could be a success story for EU neighborhood policy. It is small, it currently has a pro-European elite and it has a non-ethnic resolvable conflict with Transnistria. But in order to succeed in its neighborhood approach, the EU has to seriously engage in the Transnistrian conflict and it must develop a real partnership for reform with Moldova.
Category: Political System, Economy and Finance, European Union, Enlargement Process, Moldova, Europe, Russia
Test Case Belarus
Consequences for the EU after the 2010 Belarusian Presidential Election
by Marie-Lena May, Stefan Meister
DGAPstandpunkt 1, January 3, 2011, 3 pp.
On the evening of the Belarusian presidential election Alexander Lukashenko showed that democracy in Belarus will only be possible without him. The violent disbanding of protests and the disregard for the most basic human rights by the Belarusian security service should be answered with harsh sanctions by the European Union. If the European Union takes its advocacy for democracy and human rights seriously, it needs to make Belarus a test case for a consistent foreign policy.
Category: European Union, CFSP, Eastern Partnership, Political System, Democratization/System Change, Belarus, Europe, Russia
The Economization of Russian Foreign Policy
The Conflict between Russia and Belarus Escalates
by Stefan Meister
DGAPstandpunkt 10, September 6, 2010, 3 pp.
Russia is using the global financial crisis to strengthen its position in the post-Soviet neighborhood. The current escalation in Russo-Belarusian affairs is a testimonial to the fundamental change in the relationship between Russia and its “allies” in the post-Soviet neighborhood. Russia no longer considers close alliance partners and instead asserts its own economic and political interests.
Category: Economy and Finance, Financial Crisis, European Union, Bilateral Conflicts, Russia, Belarus, Europe, Eastern Europe
Tangled Up in Blue and Gold
For too long Brussels has been hamstrung in the Black Sea region
by Stefan Meister
The woeful inability of the European Union to develop a common strategy for the post-Soviet sphere is nowhere more apparent than in Georgia. E.U. policy in the South Caucasus is reactive rather than proactive. This failure limits E.U. influence and enables other regional actors, namely Russia and China, to call the shots.
Category: European Union, Russia, Georgia, Eastern Europe, Europe
Recalibrating Germany’s and EU’s Policy in the South Caucasus
by Stefan Meister
DGAPanalyse 2, July 1, 2010, 20 pp.
The South Caucasus, and the broader Caspian region, is becoming increasingly more important for European energy, security and economic interests. Yet there has been a lack of German focus in this region, which ironically has become increasingly interesting for the German private sector, most notably Azerbaijan. Germany should take the unique responsibility and shape a value added and independent European policy toward the South Caucasus.
Category: Resources and Energy, Security, Economy and Finance, Conflicts and Strategies, German Foreign Policy, Caucasian States of the former Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Europe, Germany
The EU’s Eastern Partnership
A Misunderstood Offer of Cooperation
by Stefan Meister, Marie-Lena May
DGAPstandpunkt 7, September 30, 2009, 4 pp.
The EU’s Eastern Partnership
The European Union’s Eastern Partnership may fall through without ever having really gotten off the ground. As such, EU members, the target countries, and Russia misunderstand the purpose of the proposed partnership. It is important to use the Eastern Partnership as a basis for developing a essentially new policy towards EU’s neighbors in the East.
Category: Eastern Partnership, CFSP, European Union, Economy and Finance, Development Policy, Eastern Europe, Caucasian States of the former Soviet Union, Poland, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine
Growth without Sustainability
What the financial crisis says about Russia’s economy
by Stefan Meister
DGAPanalyse 1, Januar 30, 2009, 16 pp.
During the presidency of Vladimir Putin the international influence of Russia has increased. The economic growth is the basis for a new foreign policy self-confidence of the Russian elite. Part of the self-conception is the idea to establish Moscow as an international finance centre and the ruble as a leading currency. The present-day Russia would like to integrate itself in all important international institutions and concurrently to renegotiate the rules of political and economic relations.
Category: Economy and Finance, Financial Crisis, Russia