Policy Memos

Russia's Fiscal Veto on CIS Integration

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:




When the words "Russia" and "Near Abroad" emerge in the same sentence, they usually conjure up visions of imperialism and political subversion. In this brief, I argue that Russia has not, in fact, invested much effort into "reintegrating" the former Soviet space. Instead, powerful, market-oriented political forces have consistently led Russia to torpedo nearly every good chance it has had to reunify some of the newly independent states (NIS). For this and other reasons, Russian politicians across the spectrum are increasingly calling for Russia to focus not on statedriven integration in the CIS, but instead on a market-driven process which has been called "natural integration." By implication, if the international community wants to guard against Russian revanchism, it should not only increase development aid to Russia's neighbors, but should actively promote reforms within Russia which create strong interests in macroeconomic stability and fiscal discipline. [...]

Read full text (PDF)

About the author

Professor of Political Science and International Affairs; Co-director, PONARS Eurasia
George Washington University