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Regular version of the site

Article

Imperial nostalgia or prudent geopolitics? Russia's efforts to reintegrate the post-Soviet space in geopolitical perspective

Post-Soviet Affairs. 2014. Vol. 30. No. 6. P. 503-528.

After stagnating throughout most of the 1990s and 2000s, Russia’s efforts to

reintegrate the post-Soviet space are finally gathering momentum. According to

President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s goal is to establish a Eurasian Economic

Union “capable of becoming one of the poles in a futuremulti-polarworld.”Most

existing studies see Russia’s imperial and post-Soviet legacies as the driving

forces behind these efforts. Although they offer valuable insights, these studies

fail to explain the timing of Russia’s push for deeper regional integration. This

article examines these developments from a geopolitical perspective and

compares Eurasian regionalism with the regional integration projects of other

great powers (more specifically, Brazil and Mercosur/Unasur and China and

ASEAN þ 1). All three efforts are occurring at a time when the international

system is in flux and the ability of the USA and other Western powers to deliver

key global collective goods is being called into question. Regional integration

must ultimately be seen as a strategy by Russia and other great powers to respond

to these challenges and prepare themselves for an unpredictable future.