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Describing Russia and China Before and After Crimea: Comparative Discourse Analysis of Plenary Speeches and Questions of the MEPs in the 7th and 8th European Parliaments

Student: Angelina Silaeva

Supervisor: Anna A. Dekalchuk

Faculty: Saint-Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Area Studies

Educational Programme: Political Science and World Politics (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

The Crimea annexation by the Russian government in March 2014 has shaken the political order. The following set of sanctions imposed on Moscow did not only hurt Russia’s economy but forced it to rethink its connections with other states. In the search for support, Russia made it “turn to the East” and began establishing relations with China. But what does this alliance mean to the European Union? We initially believe that the attitudes within the EU on Russia after the annexation became negative. However, the perception of China remains unanswered. If Brussels sees Moscow and Beijing as a close tie, then we might expect the discourses on China became worse as well. Or the Union might have taken a strategy to enlarge cooperation with China to avoid the eastern alliance and keep China loyal. This paper is aimed to provide the descriptions of Russia and China in the 7th and 8th Parliaments based on the speeches and questions of the members of the European Parliament. The general idea is based on the fact that the Parliament is the most non-restrained institution and faces no consequences for their statements in the foreign policy area. Studying the discourses will allow collecting the descriptions of China and Russia and through comparison conclude, whether and how the attitudes to them changed.

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