Eastern Partnership: Trade Integration of the EU Target Countries

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-3-86-97

I. Gurova (igurova@mail.ru),
MGIMO University, 76, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, for which the EU established the Eastern Partnership program, are involved in the orbit of the EU and the EAEU integration processes. The concept of integration competition suggests that the EU and Russia, which is the dominant power in the EAEU, should be considered as rivals in this matter. Six target countries found themselves in a situation of integration choice, which in some cases can manifest itself in the form of an integration dilemma that does not leave the third path. Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine have already signed Association Agreements/DCFTA with the EU, while Belarus and Armenia are members of the EAEU. The indicators of economic dependence, trade integration and asymmetry in trade demonstrate that the trade and economic priorities of these countries are changing. Trade and economic relations with the EU and with Russia are asymmetric, which is due to a significant gap in the scale of the economy. Moreover, the more partners trade, the deeper the asymmetry. The least dependent on both Russia and the EU is Georgia. With a fairly high level of trade integration with the EU, the country has a diversified geographic structure of trade and actively trades with third countries. Economic dependence and trade integration of Moldova and Ukraine with the EU has increased significantly due to the reduction of ties with Russia. In this case, the integration choice is a dilemma, as one powerful partner displaces the other partner. In Armenia, which accessed the EAEU, on the contrary, Russia ousts the EU. Belarus avoided the integration dilemma. Having the most open economy, the country simultaneously increases trade with Russia, the EU and third countries. The article is aimed at developing the trade and economic aspect of the concept of integration competition and overcoming the fatalism of the “dilemma of integration”. 

Keywords: EU, Russia, Eastern Partnership, economic dependency, asymmetry in trade, import share in GDP 


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For citation:
Gurova I. Eastern Partnership: Trade Integration of the EU Target Countries. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 86-97. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-3-86-97

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