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Препринт

Does EAEU-ASEAN Format Have A Future?

The crisis in relations with the West and the subsequent sanctions hampered the development of Moscow’s cooperation with a number of foreign partners. Under these conditions, the role of the EAEU as an agent for promoting Russia's foreign trade interests has dramatically increased, including the formation of Greater Eurasian Partnership, Moscow’s flagship initiative. Russia’s officials have repeatedly stressed that ASEAN is one of the major pillars of the emerging geostrategic space. The 3rd ASEAN-Russian Federation Summit on Strategic Partnership held in Singapore in November 2018 resulted in signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ASEAN and Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on Economic Cooperation which aims to unlock the potential of cooperation between two integration blocks. The paper addresses the following question – to what extent can RussiaASEAN strategic partnership create a positive spillover effect on the EAEU-ASEAN ties and trigger the Greater Eurasian Partnership concept. In doing so, the paper focuses on factors which stand behind ASEAN’s rising interest in Eurasian space, EAEU’s strive to develop relationships with Association and the limits of bilateral cooperation in a broader Greater Eurasian framework. It is concluded that the full engagement of ASEAN member states into Eurasian initiatives (even taking into account their successful implementation) depends on several factors. Firstly, to what extent EAEU member states can eliminate structural problems - institutional imbalances, limited export supplies, internal disagreements between the participants. Secondly, it will depend on whether Russia and ASEAN will be able to back up the status of strategic partnership with economic projects. Finally, will the EAEU partners be able to offer ASEAN an attractive interaction format, for example, the Great Eurasian Partnership, which needs to be conceptually filled and linked with ASEAN key initiatives and plans.