The pandemics created a unique situation in which the "soft power" of the EU in the Eastern Partnership can be overshadowed by Moscow. However, the latter pursues other goals - more vital goals - in Italy, Serbia or the USA, writes political researcher Dionis Cenuşa in an analytical article for the IPN Agency.
He underlines that unlike Russia, China is not directly involved in any frozen or open conflict with states in the EU's eastern neighbours. Therefore, during the pandemic, Chinese supplies arrived both in Moldova, governed by friendly forces to Russia and in Ukraine, which is defending against Russian aggression.
Against the backdrop of Russian aggression, China clearly demonstrates that it prioritizes relations with Ukraine, after sending the second batch of humanitarian aid, points out the political scientist.
However, Dionis Cenuşa believes that Russia is trying to meet the aid requests from the partners of the Eurasian Union and the CIS, where it has sent test systems or test kits.
Also, the researcher believes that the Russian intervention is visible in the separatist regions, where it tries to prevent the spread of the virus - Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Georgia) or Transnistria, although through the Moldovan constitutional authorities.
The eastern neighborhood of the EU has become a land of manifestation of Chinese and Russian health diplomacy, underscores the researcher.
China may be selective in allocating its assistance, less so Russia because of the over-arching impulses behind Moscow’s approach to its “near abroad”, Dionis Cenusa concludes.