Russia's Eurasian Union: a far-reaching attempt at economic integration weakened by its political use

Friday, 27 June 2014 14:00 Written by  Published in B schools Read 5017 times

The FINANCIAL -- Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have signed an Association Agreement tying them to the EU. This means that they will not be joining the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), as did Belarus and Armenia and as Moscow had hoped. Moscow’s coercive tactics to encourage EEU accession are forcing the countries of the region to make a choice between Russia and the EU.

The Ukraine crisis has accelerated the regional competition between Russia and the European Union (EU) and has changed its nature, finds a new report published by LSE IDEAS, The Geopolitics of Eurasian Economic Integration.

“The EEU is based on modern customs legislation and an elaborate set of institutions. At the same time, it is weakened by contradictions: Moscow is attempting to turn it into a foreign policy tool at the expense of economic rationalisation. This means that the countries standing between Russia and the EU are forced to face a choice that can be internally divisive for them,” said Dr David Cadier, Editor of the report and a Teaching Fellow at LSE IDEAS.

The EEU, which will come into being in 2015, aims to create a single economic market between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Through this framework, Russia aims to increase its regional influence by encouraging the harmonisation of market and regulatory norms. In a way, it is an attempt to counter the influence of the EU by replicating some of its instruments. Russia hopes that other countries of the post-Soviet space will join, according to the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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