Papers on post-Soviet Integration

  • Vinokurov E. et al. (2015) Measuring the Impact of Non-Tariff Barriers in the Eurasian Economic Union: Results of Enterprise Survey. EDB Centre for Integration Studies Report no. 30, EDB: Saint-Petersburg.

  • Vinokurov E. et al. (2015) Abolishment of Non-Tariff Barriers in the Eurasian Economic Union: Assessment of Economic Impact, EDB Centre for Integration Studies Report no. 29. EDB: Saint-Petersburg.

  • Vinokurov E., Libman A. (2014) Does an Economic Crisis Impede or Advance Regional Integration?  Evidence from the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Customs Union. Post-Communist Economies, Vol. 26 (3): 341–358. 

    The effects that economic crises could have on the development of regional integration have been a topic of debate in integration studies. This issue became particularly acute in the last years with the sovereign debt crisis in the EU. The aim of this paper is to study a previously unexplored case of how economic crisis actually strengthened a regional integration project, looking at the case of the post-Soviet countries.
  • Vinokurov E. (2013) The Art of Survival: Kyrgyzstan’s Labor Migration, Human Capital, and Social Networks. Central Asian Papers no.7. George Washington University: Washington D.C. 

  • Vinokurov E. (2013) Pragmatic Eurasianism. Russia in Global Politics, 11(2):87-96.

    This article offers a systematic and pragmatic approach to Eurasian integration. It assumes that integration is not an objective in itself, but an essential means to resolve the pressing problems of all countries involved, with economic modernization as the key challenge. Pragmatic Eurasianism is aimed at securing bottom-up integration since the free movement of goods, services, labor, and capital is crucial for the long-term success of integration. We also argue for open regionalism which targets both the EU and Asia. Download the paper.
  • Evgeny Vinokurov and Alexander Libman (2012) The Post-Soviet Integration Breakthrough. Why the Customs Union has more chances than its predecessors. Russia in Global Politics, May-June. 154-163.

    The former Soviet republics have signed a great number of agreements, treaties and initiatives within a span of two decades since the breakup of the USSR. However, none of the “post-Soviet integration” bids proved capable of ensuring real cooperation among the states in the region. The fact was fairly obvious to everyone, above all to the states directly involved in the integration projects. Against this background, a fundamental change in the situation that occurred in the past three years came unexpected to analysts. The Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, launched in 2010, has become the first integration alliance where the partners meet their commitments notwithstanding the high costs it involves. The intention to set up a Eurasian Economic Union by 2015, announced last November, looks far more realistic than a majority of similar past resolutions. What changes have taken place in the post-Soviet space to make such projects realistic? Can we expect these initiatives to feature a steady growth? Are the objectives ambitious enough to meet the challenges facing the post-Soviet countries? And will their implementation help these countries take advantage of the opening economic development opportunities? Download the paper
  • Libman A., Vinokurov E.  (2012) Holding Together Regionalism and Interaction of Functional Bureaucracies. Review of International Political Economy. 19:5, pp. 867-894.

    The paper focuses on post-Soviet regional integration as a special case where integration projects are established by countries that originally comprised a single political entity after its collapse. It shows that in this framework the existing economic ties between countries are likely to adversely affect the interest of functional bureaucracy to support regional integration given that cutting existing connections is often more promising from the point of view of the budget expansion. Hence, the interaction of national and supranational bureaucracies is unlikely to generate impetus for increasing regional cooperation, which, surprisingly, can, however, be supported by adverse economic shocks. The results are validated using the experience of two «low level politics» sectors of interaction in the post-Soviet space: electricity and transportation.
  • Vinokurov E., Libman A. (2012) Regional Integration and Economic Convergence in the Post-Soviet Space: Experience of the Decade of Growth. Journal of Common Market Studies, 1(50), pp. 112-128.

    The paper examines the dynamics of regional integration and economic convergence in the post-Soviet world during the period 1999–2008, both considered as a whole and on the level of individual country groups. 
  • Libman A., Vinokurov E. (2011)  Is it really different? Patterns of regionalisation in post-Soviet Central Asia. Post-Communist Economies, 23:4, pp. 469-492

    This paper examines the prospects of regional economic integration in Central Asia from the point of view of the extent of actual economic interdependencies in the region, using a new and unique dataset.
  • Kurmanalieva E., Vinokurov E. (2011) Trends in Post-Crisis Capital Flows in the CIS. Euromoney Emerging Markets Handbook 2011-2012.

    The 2008—2009 crisis showed how strongly the world’s economies depend on each other. Back in 1998, capital flows were an issue of concern mainly for Asian countries; now they are a global issue. Regional supranational institutions develop «safety nets» to protect themselves against sharp flows of «hot money» This short essay analyses capital flows to and from CIS countries and discusses government measures to prevent balance-of-payments crises.
  • Vinokurov E. (2010) International Financial Centre in Moscow: What Would It Take? World Finance Review, December

    The idea of Moscow becoming one of the global financial centres reflects a concentrated vision of a broad set of goals for the development of the financial system of the country and more active participation by Russia in the global financial infrastructure. It also reflects the country's intention to become the designated financial centre for the post-Soviet space. For this vision to become a reality, Kazakh, Ukrainian and Belorussian companies would need to change their listing preferences from London, Hong Kong, New York or Warsaw to Moscow. The CIS-based companies would turn to Moscow stock market only if they can successfully raise more capital on more favourable terms. That fact implies two questions. First, whether Russia' neighbours currently need Moscow as a regional financial centre to satisfy their needs. Second, under which conditions this might be the case. This short article is linked to the EDB Report no. 10 on Russian and Kazakh Stock Markets.
  • Vinokurov, Evgeny (2010) The Evolution of Kazakhstan’s Position on Relations with Russia in 1991-2010. MPRA Working Paper 22187.

    The current phase of Kazakhstan's foreign policy, marked by the establishment of the Customs Union and intensive work on the Single Economic Space with Russia and Belarus, is different from and similar with the previous phases at the same time. It is different in regard to the fact that, for the first time in 20 years, the integration breakthrough is real. At once, it is similar to the previous phases since Kazakhstan continues to aim at balancing interests of major players in the region and avoiding Russia’s economic and political dominance.
  • Vinokurov E. (2010) Knitting Europe and Asia into Eurasia: Kazakhstan's Foreign Economic Policy. World Finance Review, September

    Russian-Kazakh relations are shaping positive trends for regional cooperation in the post-Soviet space. At the same time, Kazakhstan continues – consciously and consistently – to aim at balancing the interests of major players in the region and avoiding economic and political dominance by Russia or China. In doing so, the country aims to knit Europe and Asia into Eurasia – and capitalise on that.
  • Vinokurov E., Libman A. (2010) Trendy regionalnoy integracii na postsovetskom prostranstve: rezultaty kolichestvennogo analiza [Post-Soviet Regional Integration Trends: Results of Quantitative Analysis], Voprosy Economiki, 7. http://www.vopreco.ru/rus/year.files/n7_2010.html#an8

  • Libman A., Vinokurov E. (2010) Is It Really Different? Patterns of Regionalization in the Post-Soviet Asia. Frankfurt School Working Paper 155.

    While the regional economic integration encompassing the whole of the former Soviet Union (FSU) transpires to be inefficient, there appears to be a stronger interest in regionalism in smaller groups of more homogenous and geographically connected countries of the region, specifically, Central Asia. Using a new dataset, we find that although the economic links between the Central Asian countries are more pronounced than between that of the CIS in several key areas, this advantage has been disappearing fast over the last decade. In addition, the trend of economic integration of Central Asia strongly correlates to that of the CIS in general. Currently Central Asia should be treated as a sub-region of the post-Soviet world rather than a definite integration region.On the other hand, however, we find that Kazakhstan emerges as a new centre for regional integration, which can bear some potential for regionalism in Central Asia, and that there is an increasing trend towards greater economic interconnections with China in Central Asia.