Eurasian Regionalism: Ideas and Practices
Following the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991, Russia emerged as the largest and most powerful of the newly-independent post-Soviet states (NIS). Its post-communist leaders initially appeared keen on shedding the vestiges of the ‘empire’: getting rid of what was perceived as unproductive subsidies to other NIS. However, the effects of the dissolution, specifically the breakage of the unified economic complex of the former Soviet Union, were no less harmful to the Russian national interests than they were to the national interests of smaller NIS. Any transition to a new type of political and economic relations between these states had to be managed on a new, multilateral basis. Such a transition mechanism had been proposed in the form of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), still centred on Russia as an internationally recognized legal successor to the Soviet Union. The CIS started a process of regional (re)integration on a new, post-communist and post-hegemonic basis.
KeywordsForeign Policy Regional Integration Regional Cooperation Regional Security Shanghai Cooperation Organization
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