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Integration Projects of Russia and EAEU: Chance for Extension Export?

V. P. Obolenskiy ()

Outlines of global transformations: politics, economics, law, 2020

Abstract: The article deals with the possibilities of improving the access of Russian goods to foreign markets through regional trade agreements. Participation in such agreements has acquired mass character in the current century, within their framework about two thirds of transboundary commodity flows are already moving. The main peculiarity of regionalism development in this century is the pro‑integration character of the concluded agreements, which are not limited to agreements on free trade zones of goods, but cover a wide range of issues of trade in services, investment cooperation, competition, environment, labor standards, i.e. they envisage a movement towards greater institutional homogeneity of economies. Until recently, Russia was limited to the tasks of preserving and developing economic ties in the post‑Soviet space, and only after the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union did it start showing interest in signing free trade agreements with non-CIS countries. To date, the EAEU has concluded free trade agreements with a number of countries and is negotiating a FTA with several more countries. The EAEU integration policy has not yet brought any noticeable results in terms of a significant reduction of tariff barriers into total foreign markets: the current and planned integration projects will allow Russia to enjoy tariff preferences on less than one tenth of the global market. Possible new union agreements on preferential trade with ASEAN countries can only help Russia to expand its scope, while the creation of liberal economic partnerships such as WTO plus is not on the Russian integration agenda. Nor is there any intention to promote the idea of a FTA with Russia’s largest trade partners – the EU and China – in the EAEU. The conclusion is made that it is vital for Russia to address the problem of increasing the competitiveness of manufacturing industries, without which further facilitation of access to foreign markets through free trade agreements may not be possible.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.23932/2542-0240-2020-13-3-9

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