The Eurasian Economic Union in the Context of Transformation of the International Trade System

The Eurasian Economic Union in the Context of Transformation of the International Trade System

Maria Lagutina (Saint Petersburg State University, Russia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4032-8.ch003

Abstract

The EEU was created to strengthen the national economies and capabilities of the member states in global economy by creating the so-called “four freedoms”: the free movement of goods, services, capital, and persons. At this stage, the EEU is involved in the creation of free trade zones with countries outside the borders of the Eurasian post-Soviet space that was a reaction of the Eurasian Economic Union on new trends in international trade and the crisis of the WTO. The aim of this chapter is to analyze the internal and external contours of the Eurasian integration in economic and trade cooperation. The first part is devoted to analyzing of the historical background of the EEU creation. The second part evaluates the economic cooperation among the EEU countries. In the third part, the author focuses on the crisis of the WTO and new tendencies in international trade cooperation. And the final part examines the prospects of creation of free-trades zones between the EEU states and other countries.
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Introduction

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) was created to strengthen the national economies and capabilities of the member states in global economy by creating the so-called ‘four freedoms’: the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons. It was founded during a period of the global economic instability and geopolitical changes in Eurasia that have affected the situation inside the EEU (Kuzmina, 2017).

The emergence of the EEU in January 2015 marked a new phase of joining the Eurasian countries into the global economic space. At the moment, membership consists of five states: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, four of which are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, the accession of the EEU occurred at different times and on different terms: for example, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Russia joined in the EEU as a WTO member, while Kazakhstan entered this structure as a member of the EEU and on more liberal external partner conditions than in the EEU. All this creates political and economic difficulties for the harmonization of internal rules of trade of the EEU and WTO. At this stage of the EEU is actively involved in the creation of free trade zones with countries outside the borders of the Eurasian post-Soviet space that was a reaction of the EEU on new trends in international trade and the crisis of the WTO.

The creation of free trade zones of the EEU is largely determined by current geopolitical situation in the world. Thus, the European direction in connection with the political crisis 2014-2015 in relations with Russia and the subsequent sanctions war, making unpromising the creation of a free trade zone with the EU. In this regard, for the development of the EEU is very important the creation of free trade zones with countries in the Asia-Pacific region that will allow the EEU countries to form their own stable trade space.

The aim of this chapter is to analyze the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ contours of the Eurasian integration in economic and trade cooperation of the EEU. This can be achieved by means of analyzing the existing economic cooperation among the EEU countries and prospects of the creation of free-trade zones of the EEU with other countries.

Our analysis is based mainly on analytical materials of Eurasian Economic Commission, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and Russian International Affairs Council etc. We have used a case study approach for data collection, mainly through the study of official documents and by reviewing annual reports.

This chapter consists of four parts. The first part is devoted to analyzing of the historical background of the EEU creation. The second part evaluates the economic cooperation among the EEU countries as on bilateral, as on multilateral levels. In the third part, the author focuses on the crisis WTO and new tendencies in international trade cooperation. And the final part examines the prospects of creation of free-trades zones between the EEU states and other countries, which are located outside of the EEU space.

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