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VESTNIK, THE JOURNAL OF RUSSIAN AND ASIAN STUDIES  / A SOVEREIGN SURGE, NOT A SOVIET RESURGENCE: THE MUTUALISM OF EURASIAN REINTEGRATION
26.06.2012


Ilya Zlatkin is a rising third-year law student at the University of Richmond. He graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2010 with a double major in economics and foreign affairs. After graduating, Ilya plans to practice international business law.

This paper was published as part of Vestnik: The Journal of Russian and Asian Studies.  


  A Sovereign Surge, Not a Soviet Resurgence:
The Mutualism of Eurasian Reintegration
 
By Ilya Zlatkin

With the creation of the Eurasian Economic Community’s customs union (“Customs Union”) in 2010, total trade among Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan skyrocketed.[1] Emboldened by such results, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced his vision for further economic integration – the Eurasian Economic Union (“EEU”).[2] The three Customs Union members set the framework for the EEU by mid-November 2011, less than a month after its conception.[3] Scheduled to begin operating in January 2012, the Eurasian Economic Commission, a supranational body with enforcement powers, will handle the Single Economic Space (“SES”)[4] and subsequent integration efforts.[5] Under the current framework, the EEU will go into effect at the beginning of 2015.[6]

Though the presidents of all three nations have vehemently rejected the desire to resurrect the USSR,[7] claims of such a motive remain the primary criticism of the EEU.[8] While Russia’s track record does not rule out such maneuvers,[9] Russian leaders have come to realize that they can no longer achieve their goals by strong-arming their former compatriots.[10] If Russia wants to maintain its sphere of influence, it needs to do so through proper incentives.[11] The success of the EEU as an organization depends entirely on its positive economic value for all members.

Over time, the EEU likely will lead to cooperation in more than simply economics. Topics such as military collaboration, however, are outside the scope of this paper, which will focus primarily on economic effects. Part I supplies some background on previous unsuccessful integration efforts and the recent promising developments. Part II posits and analyzes some institutional reasons for prior failures. Part III weighs the pros and cons for each of the five countries that have confirmed their interest in the EEU: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan (collectively, “Prospective Members”).

I: Background

Over the past two decades, former Soviet states have attempted to reintegrate on multiple occasions. Eleven of the fifteen republics tried to resurrect economic ties almost immediately after the fall of the USSR.[12] In 1993, they signed the Treaty on the Establishment of the Economic Union with the goal of eventually emulating the European Union.[13] In theory, it should have begun as a multilateral free trade area, culminating in a monetary union.[14] Without an official supranational mechanism to enforce the agreement, however, member states could not resolve their differences.[15] By the mid-1990s, the Prospective Members started to realize that they could integrate further only by forming smaller groups within the Commonwealth of Independent States (“CIS”).[16] Nevertheless, despite agreeing on a multitude of economic policies, they discarded the idea of creating “a common economic space modeled on the EU.”[17]

In 2000, the Prospective Members established the Eurasian Economic Community (“EurAsEC”).[18] This organization strove to promote integration in a slow, deliberate manner.[19] In October 2007, they agreed to create the Customs Union, which officially began operating in 2010.[20] A separate treaty, signed in 2009, established plans to transition to a common market, the SES, by the beginning of 2012.[21] Once it starts operating, the SES will permit free movement of all factors of production.[22]

On November 18, 2011, the presidents of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed a set of documents establishing the framework for the EEU (collectively, “Formative Documents”), including the Declaration on Eurasian Economic Integration and the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Committee.[23] The Formative Documents outline a plan to create a full-fledged economic union by 2015.[24] Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have already indicated that they plan to become members in the near future.[25] The signatories have stated that all former Soviet republics, as well as other willing states, may join the EEU.[26]

II: Challenges to Integration

Whenever nations seek to integrate economies, they always face challenges. After the collapse of the USSR, many states from the Eastern Bloc sought entry into the European Union.[27] In an article addressing this process, Helen Hartnell outlines five paradoxes of economic integration that confronted all European Union aspirants.[28] Only four of the five apply in the case of the EEU: the trade paradox, the aspirational paradox, the participation paradox, and the sovereignty paradox.[29] Despite the claims of Russian leaders that the EEU significantly differs from the European Union,[30] the effects of these paradoxes still should be analyzed within the contemporary context.

First, the trade paradox revolves around the dilemma that governments all express a desire to increase total trade, but this really stems from each country’s unilateral goal of increasing exports.[31] Inherently, lowering trade barriers increases competition among the union members. While that can improve total trade, it also can create tensions. For example, because every nation within the Caribbean Community depends on the same industry, tourism, one member can benefit only at the expense of another.[32] Therefore, the success of the EEU will depend, in large part, on each country’s ability to find a competitive advantage, a result that seems viable.

All former Soviet nations were, at one point, part of the same industrialized country. Soviet authorities established complementing industries in different portions of the massive USSR.[33] The EEU can reestablish such a dynamic. In areas of direct competition, the Eurasian Economic Commission will have the authority to resolve issues among the members.[34] The Soviet Union also provided its republics with a good educational infrastructure,[35] which now can allow multiple EEU nations to supply intellectual resources. While this may breed competition among the members, unrestrained mobility will allow people to work where they are most useful. Unrestrained mobility also will facilitate the attendance of the best students at the best institutions of higher education. Qualified students in EEU countries with sub-par educational systems will have an easier time attending better universities within the EEU. Additionally, each Prospective Member has, at the very least, a decent agrarian sector.[36] Overabundance of foodstuffs is unlikely,[37] but even the agricultural staples differ among the republics, thus providing another basis for trade among members.[38]

Second, the aspirational paradox can arise from unclear goals of integration. In the 1990s, the European Union promoted membership as a reward for successful transition.[39] On the other hand, aspiring countries viewed membership as the vehicle toward their successful transition.[40] In the case of the EEU, such ambiguity does not exist. The Declaration on the Eurasian Economic Integration indicates that the ultimate goal is for all members to join the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) and that the EEU will abide by WTO rules.[41] In turn, the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Commission mandates that the regulatory body follow the Declaration.[42] The signatories have made clear that the ultimate goal of the EEU is for all members to participate in the WTO.[43]

Third, Hartnell explains the participation paradox as the gap between democratic rhetoric and the reality of accession.[44] For example, the European Union marketed the transition toward democracy and capitalism as something that would empower the former Eastern Bloc nations. As these countries discovered, however, entering the European Union did not eliminate their status as political and economic minnows.[45] They had little influence in determining their interests.[46] The possibility of this problem existing in the EEU is not out of the question, but it is less probable. No one can reasonably deny that Russia is by far the biggest player within the EEU. On the other hand, Russia did not create the idea by itself, as the heads of all three signatories played a role in the process.

From the outset, Belarus and Kazakhstan both had concerns about their capacity to influence the decision-making process.[47] Under the current EEU framework, every nation will have an equal say at the top levels of decision-making.[48] The Eurasian Economic Commission will consist of two levels – the Council and the Board – both of which give each member equal standing.[49] The Council will have one representative from each country, while the Board will consist of three representatives from each participant.[50] On the other hand, employment within the Commission’s lower departments will correspond with each nation’s share in the distribution of customs duties.[51] Thus, Russians will account for 84 percent, Kazakhs for 10 percent, and Belarusians for the remaining 6 percent,[52] but each participant will have members on every committee.[53] Russia’s attempts to dominate would most certainly lead to the institution’s failure, and it is unlikely that the Russian leaders would willingly contribute to such a result given that their legacies likely hinge on the organization’s success.

The last, and most real, challenge is the sovereignty paradox, seen in the natural loss of sovereignty that accompanies membership in supranational organizations.[54] The republics fear the loss of two things: national identity and economic independence.[55] The first does not pose a real problem. The USSR collapsed, in large part, because nationalism replaced communism, and each of these nations has come to terms with the futility of the latter ideology.[56] While some fond memories of the USSR may remain, without communism forcibly tying nations together, they will most likely maintain separate identities.

The issue of losing economic sovereignty is less simple. While interdependence naturally decreases control, EEU membership still may empower the Prospective Members. To understand the pros and cons of membership, each country's situation must be analyzed individually.

III: Effects on Member Nations

Russia

Without a doubt, Russia stands to benefit the most from the EEU. Within a week of signing the Formative Documents, Russia gained complete control of Belarus’s gas transit pipelines (“Beltransgaz”),[57] which accounted for 20 percent of Russia’s crucial natural gas exports to the European Union in 2010.[58] Coupled with the opening of the Nord Stream pipeline that goes straight to Germany, Russia has alleviated its dependence on former Soviet republics in selling gas to Europe.[59]

Russian industry similarly stands to benefit. In the first year of the Customs Union, Russian exports to Kazakhstan increased by 25 percent,[60] while trade turnover with Belarus rose by 50 percent.[61] In addition, because Putin plans to promote the EEU as a link between the European Union and the Far East, Russia has committed €30 billion over three years to upgrading its transportation infrastructure.[62] This expansion will halve both the cost and the time of shipping from Western Europe to the Asia-Pacific Region.[63] The Russian government already has purchased 200 new trains.[64] Positive developments like these will likely continue.

Some concerns linger, however. Due to economic integration and subsequent WTO membership, Russia inevitably will face increased competition, both inside and outside the EEU.[65] Of the four other nations discussed in this paper, only Tajikistan ranks lower than Russia on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index.[66] Corporations often view Russian laws as “too tough” and may seek to relocate elsewhere in the EEU.[67] On the other hand, the majority of Russia’s enormous population resides in the country’s European territory, which may help offset this downside.[68] For corporations seeking to maximize market share, the Central Asian members may become less favorable destinations as they are located far from these valuable consumer markets. Regardless, Moscow will need to reassess its business policies relative to its neighbors.

Another troubling development for Russia has been China’s considerable influence within the other four countries. In its importance to these nations’ economies, China ranks ahead of Russia in all cases except Belarus.[69] Even Russia’s European neighbor has increased its relationship with the oriental powerhouse, as the Chinese have announced a plan to drastically increase foreign direct investment in Belarus.[70] Creation of an economic union should naturally support Russia’s economic influence, but once all Prospective Members become a part of the WTO, Moscow will lose leverage against Beijing, because WTO regulations will force the EEU to lower trade barriers for non-members. Creating competitive incentives without regressing toward hegemony within the EEU will be Russia’s main challenge.[71]

The EEU’s collective power also could help Russia in its relations with Ukraine.[72] For years now, the West and Russia have vied for influence in Ukraine, another pivotal country in terms of energy transport and industrial and agricultural production.[73] Because Ukraine is closer to reaching trade and association agreements with the European Union, Russia could benefit from any additional influence with its neighbor.[74]

Ukraine is a crucial, if not cordial, trade partner for Russia and could stand to gain from EEU membership. Ukraine already accounts for 3.7 percent of Russia’s exports[75] and 5.5 percent of Russia’s imports.[76] Ukraine exports more to the former Soviet Union than to the European Union.[77] Furthermore, prior to the inauguration of the Nord Stream and Gazprom’s acquisition of Beltransgaz, four-fifths of Russian gas heading to Europe passed through Ukraine.[78] Given the recent “gas wars” and the launch of the Nord Stream, this number will decrease if relations do not improve, and Ukraine’s bargaining power with both the European Union and Russia will fall with it. Vladimir Putin has stated that he believes Europe “would never accept Ukraine against Russia’s will, whereas a union with Russia would bring clear economic gains.”[79] Moscow has made clear that Ukraine’s integration into the EEU framework will bring cheaper gas.[80] Regardless of Ukraine’s ideological preferences, the country will most likely have to gravitate toward the EEU or risk being left out in the cold, both figuratively and literally.

Belarus

Though Belarus has had its fair share of arguments with Russia, the two nations undeniably have a close relationship.[81] While transactions with Belarus represent a significant portion of Russia’s exports and imports (about 5 percent of each),[82] more than half of Belarus’s imports come from Russia and 38.9 percent of Belarusian goods and services head the other way.[83] Predictably, the Belarusian government supports most initiatives facilitating this trade.[84] From a purely economic standpoint, a huge portion of Belarus’s value to Russia stems from the former’s accessibility as a transit route to Europe.[85] Increasing integration would force Belarus to surrender its claims to transit taxes for goods in the hope of receiving Russia’s mineral resources at domestic Russian prices.[86] Early signs suggest that Belarus will succeed in achieving this goal.[87]

Energy policy is the most important issue of integration for Belarus. The East European nation depends heavily on Russian oil and gas, which it has consistently obtained at a price much lower than other European countries.[88] In addition to consuming energy from Russia, Belarus has resold it to Western Europe at a premium. The significant earnings from these pipelines would have decreased independently of integration, because the Nord Stream would have given Russia the opportunity to bypass Belarus.[89] Though Gazprom had stated that it would not cut gas volume passing through Belarus,[90] dependence on such a promise would have left Belarus in a precarious situation. Belarus had to sell Beltransgaz to secure stable pricing. Though it has lost a major source of revenue, Belarus can estimate the losses it avoided as Ukraine takes the brunt of the decrease in gas transport.[91]

In addition, Belarusians obtained the lower gas prices they coveted.[92] In mid-2011, Belarus’s economy collapsed in large part due to an increase in gas prices.[93] As part of the Beltransgaz deal, Belarusians received a 40-percent “integration discount.”[94] Moreover, Gazprom paid $2.5 billion for the remaining shares of Beltransgaz.[95] This immediate influx of cash, as well as the drastic decrease in gas prices, will help Belarus curb its economic woes in the short term. The Beltransgaz deal also includes a loan of $10 billion to build Belarus’s first nuclear power station.[96] The countries’ respective directorates have already begun the preparatory work in western Belarus.[97] In the long term, this will allow Belarus to alleviate some of its power supply problems.[98] Though Belarusians still hope to reduce gas costs to the level that Russians pay domestically,[99] within two weeks of agreeing to increase integration, Belarus has hedged its precarious energy position and has improved the future prospects of its currently ailing economy.

Now that the path has been cleared for Russia to enter the WTO, Belarus has renewed its efforts to join the organization.[100] To do that, the government will need to liberalize the country’s economic policies.[101] This includes a relaxation of currency control regulations and a reduction of agricultural subsidies.[102] Prior to integration efforts, all enterprises conducting business in Belarus had to sell foreign currency to the state, but, as a requirement for entering the SES, the government will have to abolish this law.[103] The trend of trade-policy liberalization will continue with increased guidance from Russia as it seeks to help countries enter the WTO.[104]

Despite this positive development, integration may have a negative effect for Belarus. Belarusians have a lower net income,[105] and most essential items cost much less in Belarus than they do in Russia. Without the ability to impose export duties, Belarus cannot prevent removal of the cheaper goods to Russia, where they can be sold at higher prices. During the summer of 2011, this dilemma led to a shortage of meat and other basic food items.[106] Simultaneously, the Customs Union import tariff makes some products unattainable for Belarusians. For example, unlike Russia, Belarus does not manufacture cars.[107] Without high import duties, its citizens could purchase used automobiles from Western Europe at affordable prices.[108] The institution of unified automotive tariffs “protects” a nonexistent industry in Belarus, while significantly increasing costs for an already poor populace.[109] Though compliance with WTO regulations would forcibly halve the current customs duty,[110] the only real solution requires raising Belarusians’ relative income, which cannot occur overnight.

Belarus also will seek to ensure that its close relationship with Russia does not limit prospects of dealing closely with the remaining SES members. As of June 2011, Belarus’s trade with Kazakhstan accounted for 2 percent of exports and 0.8 percent of imports.[111] Though these numbers are hardly earth-shattering, these trade relations have increased steadily since the creation of the Customs Union.[112] Of the CIS countries, Kazakhstan trails only Russia and Ukraine in importance to Belarus’s trade.[113] Belarus wishes to increase oil importation from Kazakhstan, which will require Russia’s cooperation as a transit state.[114]

Finally, as economic integration continues, the issue of a single currency will come to the fore.[115] Although Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that he would support the introduction of a single currency throughout the EEU, Belarus would feel much better about the endeavor if it gained some control of the currency’s distribution.[116] Russia likely will not favor giving Minsk such control. Considering Belarus’s recent rampant inflation,[117] handing it the keys to a mint could endanger the EEU’s fiscal security.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan stands to gain from regional integration, in large part due to decreased transport costs and increased investment and economic diversification. Though Astana wishes to become less dependent on its mineral reserves,[118] it can continue to benefit from its immense natural resources.[119] Since the signing of the Formative Documents, Eurochem, a Russian mineral and chemical company, has already declared its intent to invest $2 billion in a large-scale project developing phosphate deposits in southern Kazakhstan.[120] The deal also includes building large production plants for phosphate, nitrogen, and mixed fertilizers, as well as a mining and processing plant.[121] Also, Lukoil, Russia’s largest oil company, has a huge stake in Kazakhstan, with over 40 percent of its overseas reserves located in the Central Asian nation.[122] Kazakhstan accounts for more than half of Lukoil’s investments in foreign upstream projects.[123]

Unlike Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan does not depend on Russian markets to survive.[124] Goods sold to Russia make up less than a tenth of Kazakh exports.[125] Nonetheless, since the inception of the Customs Union, its exports to Russia have increased by 38 percent and its exports to Belarus have more than doubled.[126] Moreover, as the largest landlocked country in the world, Kazakhstan depends heavily on minimizing transit costs, and the Customs Union has allowed Kazakhstan to lower transport costs to Europe.[127]

Kazakhstan’s legal infrastructure is favorable for doing business, more so than Russia’s.[128] With the removal of all barriers to trade, it will be interesting to see in which country businesses will choose to incorporate. Though Russia’s population (and consequently, its market) is almost nine times as large,[129] legislation “loyal” to corporate interests can lead to one nation becoming the preferred destination for business enterprises.[130] In its Doing Business Index, the World Bank has ranked Kazakhstan the highest of the Prospective Members.[131] Within a common market, the obstacles to doing business should diminish even further, and Kazakhstan has situated itself to take advantage of this. For example, the government has successfully reduced foreign indebtedness and improved the insurance sector.[132] It also has upgraded the domestic securities market by increasing collaboration with international organizations.[133] Both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s have recently raised the country’s foreign currency debt rating.[134] This should lead to an increase of investment into the country, especially once it can act as a gateway to other SES countries.

Kyrgyzstan

On October 19, 2011, Kyrgyzstan received permission to join the Customs Union.[135] At the same time, the Customs Union’s members voted to create a working group on Kyrgyzstan’s further integration.[136] The nation’s geography has almost singlehandedly sculpted its economic and political environments. Confined between China and Russia, the Kyrgyz Republic has relied heavily on importing from the former and reselling to the latter. The dual nature of its economic dependence has made Kyrgyzstan a hostage of both powerhouses. Though participation in the SES poses several serious risks to Kyrgyzstan’s economic wellbeing, the EEU’s apparent commitment to WTO mandates should assuage most of these concerns.

Kyrgyzstan became a WTO member in 1998,[137] allowing it to take advantage of low trade barriers with another member of the organization – China.[138] With lower barriers came lower prices, and in 2010, goods from China accounted for 61 percent of all imports into Kyrgyzstan.[139] As non-members of the Customs Union, the Kyrgyz could only charge a 5.1 percent tariff on goods coming in from China.[140] Upon becoming a member, the republic would have to increase its duty on imports to the standard level of the Customs Union, more than double its prior rate.[141] In either of these cases, the state’s net revenue would decrease. At the same time, the Central Asian nation could capitalize on its free trade agreement with other CIS countries by reselling cheap Chinese goods without having to pay tariffs.[142] Notably, trade with Russia and Kazakhstan has accounted for 35.7 percent and 17.3 percent of all exports, respectively.[143]

Critics further argue that the Kyrgyz economy may suffer from more than just a decrease in GDP. Unhindered movement of all factors of production may lead to a relocation of businesses.[144] Under the Customs Union, only goods could be freely transported, and businesses established in one member-state would incur costs in moving entire operations to another state.[145] With the removal of these barriers under the SES, an enterprise in Kyrgyzstan can move to Russia without incurring additional transactional costs that foreign companies must pay to move their products to the desired markets.[146] Considering that the majority of Russia’s vast consumer market is in the European part of Russia,[147] Kyrgyz businesses may wish to relocate there.[148] With the industry and service sectors combining for over 79 percent of Kyrgyz production,[149] an exodus of major factories and companies could cripple the economy. Those sectors also employ over half of the labor force,[150] so unemployment rates would skyrocket.[151]

Though perhaps not ideal, joining the Customs Union and the SES creates the best scenario for the Kyrgyz Republic. As former President Roza Otunbayeva stated, “Everything produced in Kyrgyzstan is aimed at the markets of Kazakhstan and Russia.”[152] Membership would allow Bishkek to maintain the nation’s competitive advantage in those countries. At the same time, the possibility of preserving affordable prices on Chinese goods remains. Given that the Eurasian Economic Commission cannot increase tariffs past the WTO maximum without violating its own explicit obligations, it stands to reason that Kyrgyzstan will not have to increase its import duties past the WTO maximum.

While Kyrgyzstan likely will need to create incentives for companies to remain in the country, membership will bring immediate relief to the Kyrgyz economy.[153] In addition to the trade-based benefits of integration, the nation will receive $106 million from the Eurasian Economic Community fund.[154] Such short-term gains, which do not require any sacrifice in the long term, should not be overlooked.

Tajikistan

Tajikistan also has been invited to join the Customs Union and the SES.[155] Until recently, the Tajiks seemed reluctant to join, citing a preference for membership in the WTO.[156] This concern evaporated, however, once it became apparent that reintegration will complement WTO membership. Though Tajikistan does not share a border with the three founding nations, Kyrgyzstan’s participation will remedy that problem.[157] Tajikistan has much to gain from integration.

A recent diplomatic conflict has shown just how vulnerable the Central Asian nation is without SES membership. On November 8, 2011, a Tajik court handed down eight-and-a-half year sentences for two ethnic Russian pilots, whom the authorities had detained in March.[158] Though President Medvedev claims that the timing was pure coincidence,[159] Russia’s immediate large-scale detention and deportation of Tajiks may have been retributive.[160] Russia threatened to deport as many as 10,000 people, citing health concerns.[161] By November 22, it had partially followed through, having sent back about 1,500.[162] This is particularly important because up to 40 percent of Tajik GDP comes from remittances sent by citizens working abroad.[163] Much of this comes from Russia, where between 1 and 2 million Tajiks work.[164] The loss of this income would cripple Tajikistan’s economy.[165] Even though the deportation of Tajiks would deprive Russia of a massive amount of cheap labor,[166] the effect on Tajikistan would likely outweigh the hit suffered by the bigger, richer country.

Even the unconditional release of the Russian pilots does not insure Tajikistan against a recurrent deportation wave.[167] Thus, SES membership would protect the nation’s remittance income most effectively, because the SES would permit free movement of labor within its borders.[168] If Tajikistan joins, Russia will not have the ability to prevent an influx of migrant workers without discrediting the premises of the EEU.[169] Tajiks will be able to come and go as they please, and that alone is reason enough to seek admission. The members’ stated goal of joining the WTO should make membership more appealing for Tajikistan.

IV. Conclusion

The potential economic benefits of the EEU are undeniable. The potential losses for refusing to join are even more vivid. Even if countries like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan join because they feel they do not have a viable alternative, these decisions are still based on improving their economic situations. Each of the Prospective Members likely will come out better than it would without integration.

From an institutional standpoint, it is worth noting that more transparency exists in the EEU decision-making process than ever before. For example, the Regulations for the Eurasian Economic Commission, as well as those for the Customs Union, require decisions to be published on the Internet after a relatively short amount of time.[170] Something as simple as this can create trust that will make the EEU an extremely profitable venture. Simultaneously, the framework designates WTO accession as the ultimate goal for all countries involved. The Formative Documents clearly state that EEU institutions must conform to WTO rules. This means that many of the drawbacks of membership within the Customs Union should disappear.

The creators of the EEU would like to expand the organization, and the fact that membership does not prevent countries from participating in other supranational associations should help. As the signatories have reiterated numerous times, all former Soviet republics may join. Also, reports have indicated that Serbia and Bulgaria, both European Union members, may consider joining.[171] Perhaps the most interesting development is the EEU’s possible expansion outside of Eurasia. Rumors have surfaced that countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, and even New Zealand may wish to join.[172] In addition, the EEU likely will create free trade agreements with other regional supranational bodies, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.[173] Though such elaborate integration schemes may raise eyebrows, they should not be too surprising, as they make economic sense. Quite simply, it is better to become richer in unison than to stay poor individually.

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Nate Schenkkan, Kyrgyzstan Rushes into Moscow’s Economic Embrace, Eurasianet (Oct. 20, 2011, 4:55 AM), http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64342

Nord Stream AG, http://www.nord-stream.com (last visited Nov. 28).

Putin’s Russia Wants to Suck Bulgaria into Its “Eurasian Union”, Sofia News Agency (Nov. 17, 2011), http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=134045.

Regulations of the Eurasian Economic Committee, ch. 3, pt. 7

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Scott Rose, Russian-led Fund to Disburse Belarus $440 Million Next Month, Business Week (Nov. 28, 2011), http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-28/russian-led-fund-to-disburse-belarus-440-million-next-month.html

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Vladimir Putin Supports the Merger of Russia and Belarus, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8675759/Vladimir-Putin-supports-merger-of-Russia-and-Belarus.html

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Zhenis Kembayev, Integration Processes in South America and in the Post-Soviet Area: A Comparative Analysis, 12 Sw. J.L. & Trade Am. 25(2005).

 

Footnotes

[1] Sergei Blagov, Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus Approves Kyrgyzstan’s Membership, [Oct. 27, 2011] Int’l Trade Rep. Online (BNA) No. 28, at 1745.

[2] Robert Bridge, One Eurasian Union, Please. And Hold the Imperialism!, RT (Oct. 19, 2011, 6:08 PM), http://rt.com/politics/union-putin-integration-soviet-207/. The EEU is more commonly referred to as the “Eurasian Union.” In order to prevent confusion between the Eurasian Union and the European Union, however, the former will be identified throughout this paper by the acronym “EEU.” The “European Union” will not be abbreviated.

[3] See Transcript of November 18, 2011, Press Conference at 1, available at http://www.tsouz.ru/news/Documents/press_conf_18-11.pdf [hereinafter Press Conference Transcript] (in Russian); MsOnlysee, Lukashenko Medvedev Nazarbayev 18.11.2011 Polnaya Versiya [Lukashenko Medvedev Nazarbayev 18.11.2011 Full Version], YouTube (Nov. 19, 2011), http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=I3da4fYPB18 (showing the press conference after the signing of the documents that set the framework for the EEU).

[4] This common market, set to begin operating in 2012, is often referred to as the Common Economic Space (CES). See, e.g., Integration Comm. Secretariat of the Eurasian Econ. Cmty., EurAsEC Today 35 (2011) [hereinafter EurAsEC Today], available at http://www.evrazes.com/i/other/EurAsEC-today_eng.pdf. Because “CIS” will be used frequently in this Paper, “SES” will be used instead of “CES” to improve clarity.

[5] Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Commission, Belr.-Kaz.-Russ., Nov. 18, 2011.

[6] Note that several attempts to reintegrate have been undertaken since the mid-1990s. The presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, for instance, signed an agreement on a conceptual framework for an SES called “The Concept of a Single Economic Space” (SES) in 2003. This became yet another failed attempt, however, as is evidenced by Ukraine’s absence from the current framework. See the Background section of this paper for more information.

[7] Press Conference Transcript, supra note 3, at 4, 7–8; Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan Agree on Economic Union, RFE/RL (Nov. 18, 2011), http://www.rferl.org/content/russia_belarus_kazakhstan_plan_economic_union/24395264.html; see also Dmitry Polikanov, Soviet Reunion?, RT (Oct. 20, 2011, 2:48 PM), http://rt.com/politics/columns/man-nature-political-animal/soviet-cis-russia-economy/.

[8] Bridge, supra note 2.

[9] For example, though Russia asserts that its motivation for invading Georgia in 2008 was the safety of its citizens, the Kremlin’s critics accuse it of attempting to reclaim its sphere of influence.

[10] Stanislav Maselnik, Putin’s Eurasian Union: A Danger or Strategic Opportunity?, European Strategist (Nov. 25, 2011), http://www.europeanstrategist.eu/2011/11/putins-eurasian-union-a-danger-or-strategic-opportunity/.

[11] Id.

[12] See The Alma-Ata Declaration, Arm.-Azer.-Belr.-Kaz.-Kyrg.-Mold.-Russ.-Taj.-Turkm.-Ukr.-Uzb., Dec. 21, 1991.

[13] Zhenis Kembayev, Integration Processes in South America and in the Post-Soviet Area: A Comparative Analysis, 12 Sw. J.L. & Trade Am. 25, 34 (2005).

[14] Id.

[15] Id. at 35.

[16] Id.

[17] Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev first proposed this idea in 1994. Helen E. Hartnell, Subregional Coalescence in European Regional Integration, 16 Wis. Int’l L.J. 115, 194–95 (1997); see also Press Conference Transcript, supra note 3, at 9–10 (showing Nazarbayev’s comparison of his initial idea and the current construction).

[18] EurAsEC Today, supra note 4, at 2. Uzbekistan joined the organization in 2006 but ended up leaving in 2008. Since 2002, Ukraine and Moldova have been observers, and Armenia achieved the same status in 2003. Id.

[19] Id.

[20] EurAsEC Today, supra note 4, at 32.

[21] Id. at 35.

[22] See id. It is worth giving brief (and non-comprehensive) definitions of the different levels of integration discussed in this paper. A free trade agreement eliminates import tariffs and quotas between the signatories. A customs union builds on a free trade area by, in addition to removing internal barriers to the trade of goods, also creating a unified external trade policy. A common market improves on a customs union by removing all obstacles to the mobility of people, capital and other resources, as well as eliminating non‑tariff barriers to trade within the area. An economic union further harmonizes economic institutions and policies. Different Forms of Integration, United Nations Univ.,http://ocw.unu.edu/programme-for-comparative-regional-integration-studies/introducing-regional-integration/different-forms-of-integration/ (last visited Dec. 11, 2011).

[23] Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan Agree on Economic Union, supra note 7.

[24] Id. Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko claims that the goal can be attained by the end of 2013. Eurasian Union Might Become Functional in 2013, Gazeta.kz (Nov. 22, 2011, 11:32 AM), http://engnews.gazeta.kz/art.asp?aid=352645.

[25] Bridge, supra note 2; Polikanov, supra note 7.

[26] Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan Agree on Economic Union, supra note 7.

[27] See Hartnell, supra note 17, at 154.

[28] See id.

[29] The fifth is the competition-cooperation paradox, which was unique to the European Union. On the one hand, aspiring nations needed to cooperate with each other to show that they were ready to join the European Union. On the other hand, this very cooperation “provided yet another opportunity for them to compete with each other for the EU’s approval.” Hartnell, supra note 17, at 178. In the case of the EEU, all former Soviet states, and possibly others, are welcome to join. Because there is room for more members, the accession process is not competitive.

[30] See Bridge, supra note 2; Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus Promise Eurasian Union Not to Become New USSR, Gazeta.kz (Nov. 22, 2011), http://engarticles.gazeta.kz/art.asp?aid=352668.

[31] Hartnell, supra note 17, at 154.

[32] Karen E. Bravo, CARICOM, the Myth of Sovereignty, and Aspirational Economic Integration, 31 N.C.J. Int’l L. & Com. Reg. 145, 149 (2005).

[33] See Revelations from the Russian Archives: Collectivization and Industrialization, Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/coll.html (last visited Dec. 12, 2011).

[34] Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Commission, supra note 5, art. 3 (specifying that competitive policy, inter alia, is a sphere over which the Eurasian Economic Commission will have authority).

[35] Foreign Credits Education Database, http://www.foreigncredits.com/Education-Database/Countries (last visited Dec. 12, 2011) (offering a country-by-country analysis of education systems).

[36] See The World Factbook – Russia, CIA, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rs.html (last updated Dec. 6, 2011) [hereinafter World Factbook - Russia]; The World Factbook – Belarus, CIA, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bo.html (last updated Nov. 15, 2011) [hereinafter World Factbook - Belarus]; The World Factbook – Kazakhstan, CIA, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kz.html (last updated Nov. 15, 2011) [hereinafter World Factbook - Kazakhstan]; The World Factbook – Kyrgyzstan, CIA, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kg.html (last updated Dec. 1, 2011) [hereinafter World Factbook - Kyrgyzstan]; The World Factbook – Tajikistan, CIA, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tj.html (last updated Nov. 10, 2011) [hereinafter World Factbook - Tajikistan].

[37] One of Kyrgyzstan’s primary concerns about reintegration is a possible rise in food prices. The Kyrgyz import the majority of their food, so an overabundance of food within the EEU is unlikely to occur. See, e.g., Hugh Raiser, Kyrgyzstan: The Customs Union Cometh, EurasiaNet.org (Mar. 2, 2011), http://www.eurasianet.org/node/62987.

[38] See World Factbook – Russia, supra note 36; World Factbook – Belarus, supra note 36; World Factbook – Kazakhstan, supra note 36; World Factbook – Kyrgyzstan, supra note 36; World Factbook – Tajikistan, supra note 36.

[39] Hartnell, supra note 17, at 158.

[40] Id.

[41] Declaration on the Eurasian Economic Integration, Belr.-Kaz.-Russ., Nov. 18, 2011, available in Russian at http://www.sovet-ts.ru/poleznie_materiali/normativno_pravovie_dokumenti/deklaraciya_o_evraziyskoy_ ekonomicheskoy_integracii/.

[42] Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Commission, supra note 5, art. 5.

[43] See Declaration on the Eurasian Economic Integration, supra note 41.

[44] Hartnell, supra note 17, at 170.

[45] Id.

[46] Id.

[47] See George Plaschinsky, The Hidden Problems of the EurAsian Union, Belarus Digest (Nov. 23, 2011), http://belarusdigest.com/story/hidden-problems-eurasian-union-6623.

[48] See Belarus’ Senators Ratify Agreement on Eurasian Economic Commission, BelTA (Dec. 8, 2011), http://news.belta.by/en/news/society?id=669029.

[49] Id.

[50] Id.

[51] See id.; Plaschinsky, supra note 47.

[52] Plaschinsky, supra note 47.

[53] Belarus’ Senators Ratify Agreement on Eurasian Economic Commission, supra note 48.

[54] Hartnell, supra note 17, at 175.

[55] See id.

[56] Mark R. Beissinger, Nationalism and the Collapse of Soviet Communism, in Contemporary European History 331–47 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009), http://www.princeton.edu/~mbeissin/beissinger.ceh.article.pdf.

[57] Vladimir Soldatkin & Denis Pinchuk, UPDATE 2 – Russia Woos Belarus with Gas Price Cut, $10 Bln Loan, Reuters (Nov. 25, 2011, 6:13 PM GMT), http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/25/russia-belarus-idUKL5E7MP1JW20111125.

[58] Russia – Gazprom Trade & Background, Arab Press Service (Aug. 30, 2010), available at http://www.allbusiness.com/trade-development/international-trade-import-import-prices/15061171-1.html.

[59] Anatoly Medetsky, Germans Get to Business with Putin, Moscow Times (Nov. 17, 2011), http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/germans-get-to-business-with-putin/447996.html.

[60] Id.

[61] Id. Less than two weeks after the Formative Documents were signed, a Russian mineral and gas company contracted a Belarusian auto manufacturer to supply trucks for mining operations. Mechel Announces Signing Long-term Partnership Agreement with BelAZ, Wall St. J. (Nov. 28, 2011), http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mechel-announces-signing-long-term-partnership-agreement-with-belaz-2011-11-28.

[62] See Medetsky, supra note 59; Andrei Smirnov, Moscow Hosts Transport Week – 2011 Forum, Voice of Russia (Nov. 21, 2011, 9:46 AM EST), http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/21/60781227.html.

[63] Smirnov, supra note 62.

[64] Id.

[65] See Sergei Blagov, Russian President Vows Domestic Industry Will Not Be Hobbled by WTO Commitments, [Dec. 8, 2011] Int’l Trade Rep. Online (BNA) No. 28, at 1973.

[66] See Economy Rankings, World Bank (June 2011), http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings.

[67] Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus Promise Eurasian Union Not to Become New USSR, supra note 30.

[68] See World Factbook – Russia, supra note 36. See Anatoly Vishnevsky, Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution for Russia?, United Nations 6 (Aug. 15, 2000), available at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/popdecline/vishnevsky.pdf

[69] See European Commission, EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World – Kazakhstan 6 (June 8, 2011), available at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_113406.pdf [hereinafter EC Statistics - Kazakhstan]; European Commission, EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World – Kyrgyzstan 6 (June 8, 2011), available at http:// http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_113409.pdf [hereinafter EC Statistics - Kyrgyzstan]; European Commission, EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World – Tadjikistan 6 (June 8, 2011), available at http:// http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_113453.pdf [hereinafter EC Statistics - Tajikistan]; see also European Commission, EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World – Belarus 6 (June 8, 2011), available at http:// http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_113351.pdf [hereinafter EC Statistics - Belarus].

[70] Iacob Koch-Weser, Chinese FDI in Belarus: Investing in a Backwater, Belarus Digest (Oct. 27, 2011), http://www.belarusdigest.com/story/chinese-fdi-belarus-investing-backwater-6359. The Chinese have also extended sizable loans to the Belarusians in exchange for preferential treatment in ownership of Belarusian oil chemistry assets. Cash-flooded China to Loan $1Bln to Cash-hungry Belarus, RT (Sept. 20, 2011, 1:30 PM), http://rt.com/news/china-loan-belarus-deal-929/.

[71] The Russian government has already adapted several of its laws to promote foreign investment in areas such as technology development, commodity trading, and bankruptcy. See Sergei Blagov, Russia Adopts Investment-Related Legislation with Eye on Boosting High-Technology Center, [Dec. 8, 2011] Int’l Trade Rep. Online (BNA) No. 28, at 1974; Sergei Blagov, Russia Enacts Amendments to National Antitrust Statute, [Dec. 8, 2011] Int’l Trade Daily Online (BNA); Sergei Blagov, Russia Approves Amendments to Bankruptcy Laws, Aims to Create Nationwide Database, [Dec. 8, 2011] Int’l Bus. & Fin. Daily Online (BNA).

[72] See Yulia Tymoshenko’s Trials, The Economist (Oct. 15, 2011), http://www.economist.com/node/21532290.

[73] See Viktor’s Dilemma, The Economist (Sept. 24, 2011), http://www.economist.com/node/21530172; see also K.T., An Interview with Nick Clegg, The Economist (Sept. 30, 2011), http://www.economist.com/blogs/eastern-approaches/2011/09/britain-and-europe (describing an interview with Nick Clegg, Britain’s deputy prime minister, about former Soviet states’ progress in ascending to the European Union).

[74] Viktor’s Dilemma, supra note 73.

[75] European Commission, EU Bilateral Trade and Trade with the World – Russia 6 (June 8, 2011), available at http:// http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2006/september/tradoc_113440.pdf [hereinafter EC Statistics - Russia].

[76] World Factbook – Russia, supra note 36.

[77] Viktor’s Dilemma, supra note 73.

[78] Russia – Gazprom Trade & Background, supra note 58.

[79] Yulia Tymoshenko’s Trials, supra note 72.

[80] Viktor’s Dilemma, supra note 73.

[81] See Russia Saves Strongman Lukashenko from Complete Isolation, http://english.pravda.ru/russia/economics/14-11-2011/119610-russia_belarus-0/; Vladimir Putin Supports the Merger of Russia and Belarus, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8675759/Vladimir-Putin-supports-merger-of-Russia-and-Belarus.html.

[82] Compare World Factbook – Russia, supra note 36, and EC Statistics – Russia, supra note 75, with World Factbook – Belarus, supra note 36, and EC Statistics – Belarus, supra note 69.

[83] World Factbook – Belarus, supra note 36.

[84] Cf. Press Conference Transcript, supra note 3, at 1 (Medvedev commends Lukashenko on his insistence to conclude an agreement as soon as possible).

[85] See Belarus, Gateway Travel, http://www.russian-gateway.com.au/belarus (last visited Dec. 3, 2011).

[86] See Soldatkin & Pinchuk, supra note 57; George Plaschinsky, Is the Customs Union Good for Belarus?, Belarus Digest (Nov. 11, 2011), http://belarusdigest.com/story/customs-union-good-belarus-6491.

[87] See Scott Rose, Russian-led Fund to Disburse Belarus $440 Million Next Month, Business Week (Nov. 28, 2011), http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-28/russian-led-fund-to-disburse-belarus-440-million-next-month.html; Soldatkin & Pinchuk, supra note 57; Ekaterina Shokhina, A New Eurasian Union is Born, Expert Magazine (Nov. 29, 2011), available in English at http://rbth.ru/articles/2011/11/29/a_new_eurasian_union_is_born_13838.html.

[88]  World Bank, Belarus: Addressing Challenges Facing the Energy Sector 17 (2006), available at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/BELARUSEXTN/Resources/BelarusEnergyReview_July2006-full.pdf. For example, in 2005, Belarus imported 86 percent of its total primary energy consumption, essentially all of which came from Russia. Id. at 7.

[89] Soldatkin & Pinchuk, supra note 57. The Nord Stream became operational on November 8, 2011. This pipeline passes through the Baltic Sea and goes straight to Germany, circumventing not only Belarus, but also Poland. The project had commenced in April 2010 and had cost 7.4 billion Euros. Nord Stream AG, http://www.nord-stream.com (last visited Nov. 28).

[90] Soldatkin & Pinchuk, supra note 57.

[91] Id.

[92] Plaschinsky, supra note 86.

[93] Soldatkin & Pinchuk, supra note 57.

[94] Id.

[95] Rose, supra note 87.

[96] Soldatkin & Pinchuk, supra note 57; Shokhina, supra note 87.

[97] Shokhina, supra note 87.

[98] Id.

[99] Plaschinsky, supra note 86.

[100] Sergei Blagov, Kazakh Minister Says Nation Will Finalize WTO Accession Negotiations by End of 2012, [June 30, 2011] Int’l Trade Rep. Online (BNA) No. 28, at 1078.

[101] Blagov, Russian President Vows Domestic Industry Will Not Be Hobbled by WTO Commitments, supra note 65.

[102] Id.

[103] See Plaschinsky, supra note 86.

[104] Blagov, Russian President Vows Domestic Industry Will Not Be Hobbled by WTO Commitments, supra note 65.

[105] See GNI Per Capita, Atlas Method (Current US$), World Bank, http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD (last visited Dec. 8, 2011).

[106] Plaschinsky, supra note 86.

[107] Id. 

[108] Id.

[109] Id.

[110] See Askar Beshimov, Tamozhennyy soyuz: Kyrgyzstan pered trudnym vyborom [Customs Union: Kyrgyzstan Faces a Difficult Choice], Int’l Ctr. for Trade and Sustainable Dev. (May 2010), http://ictsd.org/i/news/bridgesrussian/76721/ (arguing that Kyrgyzstan, a WTO member, would have to increase its external tariff in order to match the tariff of the Customs Union).

[111] EC Statistics – Belarus, supra note 69, at 6.

[112] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Foreign Trade of Belarus (2011), http://www.mfa.gov.by/en/foreign_trade/.

[113] Id.

[114] Vladimir Dunayev, Belarusian Way of Kazakh Oil, European Dialogue (July 15, 2011), http://eurodialogue.org/Belarusian-Way-of-Kazakh-Oil.

[115] See Plaschinsky, supra note 47.

[116] Andrei Liakhovich, Belarus-Russia: Optimistic Rhetoric and Unsolvable Contradictions, Belarus Digest (Nov. 16, 2011), http://belarusdigest.com/story/belarus-russia-optimistic-rhetoric-and-unsolvable-contradictions-6482.

[117] Belarus’ Base Inflation in 11 Months of 2011 Reported at 113.6 Percent, Naviny.by (Dec. 9, 2011, 4:10 PM), http://naviny.by/rubrics/english/2011/12/09/ic_news_259_382426/.

[118] See WTO Accession, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?page=wto-accession (last visited Dec. 12, 2011).

[119] See World Factbook – Kazakhstan, supra note 36.

[120] Shokhina, supra note 87.

[121] Id.

[122] Id.

[123] Id.

[124] See World Factbook – Kazakhstan, supra note 36; see also World Factbook – Belarus, supra note 36; World Factbook – Kyrgyzstan, supra note 36.

[125] World Factbook – Kazakhstan, supra note 36.

[126] See Plaschinsky, supra note 86.

[127] WTO Accession, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, supra note 118.

[128] Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus Promise Eurasian Union Not to Become New USSR, supra note 30.

[129] Compare World Factbook – Russia, supra note 36 (Population 138.7 million), with World Factbook – Kazakhstan, supra note 36 (Population 15.5 million).

[130] See Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus Promise Eurasian Union Not to Become New USSR, supra note 30.

[131] Economy Rankings, supra note 66.

[132] Financial Sector, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?page=banking-system (last visited Dec. 12, 2011).

[133] See id.

[134] Scott Rose, Kazakhstan Upgraded at Fitch to Tie Russia on Foreign Assets, Bloomberg (Nov. 21, 2011, 6:55 AM), http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-21/kazakhstan-upgraded-at-fitch-to-tie-russia-on-foreign-assets-1-.html#.

[135] Blagov, Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus Approves Kyrgyzstan’s Membership, supra note 1.

[136] Id.

[137] Kyrgyz Republic and the WTO, WTO, http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/countries_e/kyrgyz_republic_e.htm (last visited Dec. 11, 2011).

[138] Raiser, supra note 37.

[139] World Factbook – Kyrgyzstan, supra note 36.

[140] Beshimov, supra note 110.

[141] See id.; Nate Schenkkan, Kyrgyzstan Rushes into Moscow’s Economic Embrace, Eurasianet (Oct. 20, 2011, 4:55 AM), http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64342.

[142] Beshimov, supra note 110.

[143] World Factbook – Kyrgyzstan, supra note 36.

[144] See Raiser, supra note 37; Beshimov, supra note 110.

[145] Schenkkan, supra note 141.

[146] Id.

[147] Beshimov, supra note 110.

[148] Id.

[149] World Factbook – Kyrgyzstan, supra note 36.

[150] Id.

[151] Schenkkan, supra note 141.

[152] Raiser, supra note 37.

[153] See Rose, supra note 87.

[154] Id.

[155] Blagov, Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus Approves Kyrgyzstan’s Membership, supra note 1.

[156] Id.; Sergei Blagov, Russia Adopts WTO-Related Customs Rule; Kazakhstan Finalizes Talks With EU on WTO, [Aug. 11, 2011] Int’l Trade Rep. Online (BNA) No. 28, at 1315.

[157] Tajikistan May Join Customs Union Only After Kyrgyzstan, Says Russian PM, Asia-Plus (Oct. 20, 2011, 5:05 PM), http://news.tj/en/news/tajikistan-may-join-customs-union-only-after-kyrgyzstan-says-russian-pm.

[158] Konstantin Parshin, Tajikistan: Moscow Trying to Send Dushanbe into Nosedive, Eurasianet.org (Nov. 15, 2011, 11:17 AM), http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64516; Lidia Isamova, Tajik Court Releases Jailed Russian and Estonian Pilots, RT (last updated Nov. 22, 2011, 5:16 PM), http://rt.com/politics/tajik-court-sentence-pilots-897/.

[159] Isamova, supra note 158.

[160] Parshin, supra note 158.

[161] Id.

[162] Isamova, supra note 158.

[163] Parshin, supra note 158. By some accounts, Tajiks working in Russia have sent back more than $2 billion. Shahodat Saibnazarova, Tajik Analyst Welcomes Putin’s Eurasian Plan, Central Asian Radio (Nov. 1, 2011), http://iwpr.net/report-news/tajik-analyst-welcomes-putins-eurasian-plan (includes Russian and Tajik versions of interview with Tajik political scientist Rustam Haydar).

[164] Russia: Reported Roundup of Tajik Migrants, Human Rights Watch (Nov. 15, 2011), http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/15/russia-reported-roundup-tajik-migrants.

[165] Parshin, supra note 158.

[166] See Russia: Reported Roundup of Tajik Migrants, supra note 164.

[167] Isamova, supra note 158.

[168] Saibnazarova, supra note 163.

[169] See id.

[170] See Regulations of the Eurasian Economic Committee, ch. 3, pt. 7; Blagov, Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus Approves Kyrgyzstan’s Membership, supra note 1.

[171]Igor Panarin, Eurasian Union: Stage 1, RT (Nov. 18, 3:45 PM), http://rt.com/politics/eurasian-union-putin-economic-655/; Putin’s Russia Wants to Suck Bulgaria into Its “Eurasian Union”, Sofia News Agency (Nov. 17, 2011), http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=134045.

[172] Id.

[173] Blagov, Russian President Vows Domestic Industry Will Not Be Hobbled by WTO Commitments, supra note 65.



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