Влияние геополитических противоречий между Россией и ЕС на участие постсоветских стран в региональной экономической интеграции
Starting from the late 2000s, the Post-Soviet states have faced the so-called integration dilemma. Seeking to deepen their trade relations and economic links with the regional centers of force – the European Union and Russia – they found themselves increasingly compelled to choose between two integration projects: either joining the EU As- sociation Agreement and Deep and Compre- hensive Free Trade Area or developing rela- tions with Russia and several other interested members of the CIS under the auspices of the Customs Union and Single Economic Space (Eurasian Economic Union since 2015). This paper purports to demonstrate that, although both tracks were declared to be economic by nature and were not publicly opposing each other, it was geopolitical reasoning that has dominated the deliberations of the five Eastern European members of the CIS in assessing and choosing between the two. The paper contrasts these countries’ political strategies and approaches to the integration dilemma and examines the internal and external factors behind these approaches. We explain why, despite the apparent similarity of the economies and interests of some of the states in question, their political strategies have diverged considerably under changing geopolitical circumstances. Finally, the paper evaluates the prospects of further engagement of Eastern European CIS countries in the integration projects.