Contemporary Regionalism

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2011-1-3-15

A. Spartak, All-Russia Market Research Institute, 4, Pudovkina Str., Moscow, 119285, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The new trends in the field of regional economic integration, as well as the changing trade and the political configuration of the global economy cannot but affect integration processes within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Russia seems to be somewhat late with the project of a “hard” regional integration involving supranational control formats. The globalization dictates economic feasibility of an open trade and this is increasingly becoming a significant centrifugal factor. Our main task now is to complete as soon as possible the institutional phase of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Only after accomplishment of this integration project we can start to position it as a full-fledged subject of the world trade policy. Simultaneously, we must emphasize our interest in expanding and deepening the cooperation with the third countries and their groupings, including the RTS format. The same consideration prompts us to be extremely careful and reserved concerning the prospects of enlarging the Customs Union. The only possible Commonwealth-wide integration project format can be “soft” integration. This supposes the establishment of a multilateral free trade area (MFTA) with the elements contained within the modern economic integration agreements.

Keywords: globalization, regional economic integration, regional trade agreements, multilateral trade system, WTO/GATT, APEC, Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia, Customs Union

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For citation:
Spartak A. Contemporary Regionalism. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2011, no. 1, pp. 3-15.

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