The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) appeared in January 2015 as the latest and most ambitious attempt at reconnecting the post-Soviet space. Building on the Customs Union between Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan (2010), and successfully extending membership to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan (2015), the EAEU not only connects a market of over 182 million people, but has the stated aim of utilizing European Union experience to achieve deep integration in a fraction of the time. Based on original fieldwork conducted in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, this article examines the kind of integration project currently under construction, as well as the EAEU’s ability to make a significant impact in the region. As argued, despite early achievements, the EAEU is very much limited to reproducing sovereignty rather than transforming it, marking a clear disconnect between rhetoric and reality. Moreover, when viewed from the perspective of the three “I”s – institutions, identity, and international context – even this modest reality faces significant barriers.
|Number of pages||24|
|Early online date||23 Nov 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|