One united European Union and 25 different Russias
Due to historical reasons, the experiences of the EU’s 25 member states in relations with Russia differ according to whether they are or were metropolitan or non-metropolitan, large or small, and old or new.
Among large states, Germany’s relations have been the most longstanding and diverse. One factor separating big and small countries is that big states have had more or less a clear Russian policy and relations of their own. That is not necessarily the case with smaller countries. As a whole, older smaller countries as a whole do not have anything specifically distinct connecting them with Russia. There are those whose experience with Russia has been remote or superficial, but also long-standing and close. The experiences of new states are different in terms of whether they are former communist countries or not, including whether they are Slavic peoples or not – some Slavic countries were part of the Russian empire and others never were. Another distinction is whether EU states are Orthodox or Catholic. The dividing line in relations with Russia runs through the Baltics and Scandinavia (Lithuania and Latvia, Estonia, Denmark and Sweden).