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Journal of Economic Integration 2014 December;29(4) :582-623.
Post-Communist Economic Integration: Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia

Viachaslau Yarashevich 

Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus
Corresponding Author: Viachaslau Yarashevich ,Tel: +375 172095736, Fax: +375 172095977, Email:
Copyright ©2014 Journal of Economic Integration
The focus of this paper is the political economy of integration in the framework of the Customs Union and Single Economic Space. Clearly, Russia is a dominant power in this project, and her political interests may outweigh economic ones. However, neither Belarus nor Kazakhstan is forcefully pushed into the Customs Union and Single Economic Space. From the economic viewpoint, they join because Russia is the biggest and most accessible market for their exports, and is also rich in natural resources, which is particularly important for Belarus. There is likely to be both trade creation and trade diversion within the Customs Union and Single Economic Space, and it will concern mainly manufactures, which are now predominantly imported from the outside world. Increased demand for local manufactured goods, in turn, should lead to more employment opportunities in manufacture and agriculture sectors, and better social security for the workers of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. On the political side, though, this will inevitably play in the hands of the increasingly undemocratic political regimes.

JEL Classification
F15: Economic Integration
F52: National Security; Economic Nationalism
R11: Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
Keywords: Economic Integration | Customs Union | Political Economy | Post-communism
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