DOI: 10.5553/CAYILIR/277314562022001001010

Central Asian Yearbook of International Law and International RelationsAccess_open

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The Eurasian Integration Process: Whether Political Will Is Enough to Keep the Eurasian Economic Union Alive

Keywords Eurasian economic union, international organization, economic integration, sanctions wars, Russia
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Ekaterina Antsygina and John Quigley, 'The Eurasian Integration Process: Whether Political Will Is Enough to Keep the Eurasian Economic Union Alive', (2022) Central Asian Yearbook of International Law and International Relations 198-219

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    • 1 Objectives of the Eurasian Economic Union

      Economic integration in the post-Soviet space has passed through a number of stages but peaked in January 2015, when an ambitious new trade bloc was created by Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, under the name Eurasian Economic Union (hereafter, the Union, EAEU).1x Dogovor o Evraziiskom ekonomicheskom souse (Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union), signed 29 May 2014, Astana. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 2015, # 8, p. 1107, Unofficial Translation. http://www.un.org/en/ga/sixth/70/docs/treaty_on_eeu.pdf. Major preparatory work preceded the January 2015 announcement, beginning in 1994, when the concept for this Union was voiced by the then-president of Kazakhstan.2x Eurasian Economic Union 2019a.
      The main officially announced rationale for the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union lies in the economic sphere. The founding states seek to foster modernization and competitiveness for their national economies. They aim for sustainable development in order to improve the living standards of their populations.3x Eurasian Economic Union 2019b. A common market with free movement of goods, services, capital, and people, it is anticipated, will facilitate social and economic links.
      Although the members emphasize the nonpolitical character of the Union, some outside analysts see it as an attempt to recreate the Soviet Union.4x Klapper 2012. To the authors that seems exaggerated, at least for now, taking into consideration statements of the heads of the member states.5x See, e.g., former president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that the Union “in no way questions the independence or political sovereignty of the states participating in the integration process.” Panfilova 2014; and president of Russia V. Putin: “The document takes our countries to a fundamentally new level of integration, fully preserving state sovereignty…” Zavrazhin and Latukhina 2014. Political motivation may lie below the surface, especially on the part of Russia, the biggest and the most powerful member of the Union, which seems to have less to gain than the others by way of economic benefit.
      The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (the Treaty on EAEU)6x Eurasian Economic Commission -2015. provides for deeper integration in spheres that were earlier merged under a customs union7x Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia started to operate in January 2010. The Customs Union was created under the following international agreements:
      1. Agreement on the Customs Union between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, signed 6 January 1995, Minsk, 2212 UNTS 63;
      2. Soglashenie o Tamozhennom Souze (Agreement on the Customs Union between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus and Kazakhstan), signed 20 January 1995, Moscow. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation 15 October 2007 # 42 p. 4938, Unofficial Translation. http://rtais.wto.org/rtadocs/857/TOA/English/THE%20AGREEMENT%20ON%20THE%20CUSTOMS%20UNION.docx.3);
      3. Treaty on the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan), signed 26 February 1999, Moscow. 2212 UNTS 103;
      4. Treaty on the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community, signed 10 October 2000, as amended and supplemented 25 January 2006 and 6 October 2007, 2212 UNTS 257;
      5. Dogovor o Komissii tamozhennogo souza (Treaty on the Commission of the Customs Union), signed 6 October 2007, Dushanbe. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 21 March 2011, #12 p. 1553;
      6. Dogovor o sozdanii edino tamozhennoy territorii i formirovanii tamozhennogo souza (Agreement on Creation of Common Customs Territory and Establishment of Customs Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia), signed 6 October 2007, Dushanbe. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 21 March 2011, # 12 p. 1552.
      and establishes more detailed regulations and stages of integration for the key economic sectors, such as energy, industry, agriculture, and transport. A common labor market and a common market for goods have been successfully implemented even under the customs union. The common tariff, unified measures of nontariff regulation, and elimination of customs control within the customs union were implemented by July 2011. A legal framework for free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor was created on January 1, 2012.8x Eurasian Economic Commission 2014. The Treaty on EAEU introduced new rules on labor migration, allowing legal status for those migrants who work under civil contracts and banning measures of protectionism in the sphere of labor.9x Ibid., p. 32.
      In January 2016, the EAEU regulations for a common market of medical products (medical devices and equipment) came into force. Articles 30 and 31 of the Treaty on EAEU and the Agreement on the Uniform Principles and Rules Governing Market Circulation of Medical Devices within The Eurasian Economic Union, dated 23 December 2014,10x Soglashenie o edinyh principah i pravilah obrascheniya medicinskih izdelii (izdelii medicinskogo naznacheniya I medicinskoy tehniki) v. ramkah Evraziiskogo ekonomicheskogo souza (Agreement on the Uniform Principles and Rules Governing Market Circulation of Medical Devices within The Eurasian Economic Union), signed 23 December 2014, Moscow. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 16 May 2016, # 20 p. 2775. provides for the implementation of common procedures and standard GxP11x See Gorodissky and Partners 2015. GxP refers to the “Good Practices” applicable within the pharmaceutical industry. The “x” is a placeholder. GxP include Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and Good Clinical Practice (GCP). See SMB Validation and Compliance Group. on the territory of the EAEU and a transition period for the manufacturers, to ensure compliance with regulations till 31 December 2025. Also, the EAEU members strive to create a common digital space for the development of the digital economy.12x Navas-Sabater & Petrov 2018.
      The integration of other markets is estimated in three years: an oil and petroleum product market,13x Eurasian Economic Commission 2020a. See also Supreme Eurasian Economic Council 2020. a common gas market, a common electricity market14x Eurasian Economic Commission 2020a. and a common market for services will start to fully operate only in 2025, ten years after the establishment of the Union.15x Services in 53 sectors are already transitioned to the common market and some are in process, for example, a common market of audit services will start operating in 2022. Eurasian Economic Commission 2020b. A common transport market for motor vehicles will be created in four steps, the last one starting in 2025. The dynamic of integration is not very positive since the joint management of the most important spheres has been deferred. Such a delay may decrease possible benefits of integration and can be viewed as reluctance to integrate.16x Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015. Yet it is certainly true that integration processes are not easy, especially in vulnerable areas for the parties. The influence of the COVID-2019 pandemic should be also accounted. Thus, members’ decision to avoid hurrying and to provide some time for the unification of domestic standards seems justified, at least for now.

    • 2 Differing Considerations for the Parties

      A potential negative factor in the prognosis for the Union’s future is the fact that the member states do not have the same objectives for joining it. Russia is the driving power of the Union,17x “Before the ruble’s collapse in December, Russia accounted for 87% of the Union’s total GDP and 83% of its population. By comparison, the EU’s largest economy, Germany, represents about 15.8% of its GDP and just 6% of its population.” Barbashin 2015. and is ready to provide member states with subsidies and aid to ensure their loyalty to the EAEU. For Russia, political aims are central. Improvement of its geopolitical position, access to new markets, and links with post-Soviet states constitute Russia’s main interests. Russia would like to reestablish its role as a major geopolitical player, and the EAEU can serve this purpose to some extent. Russia gives discounts for oil and gas to some EAEU members, provides financial aid, foreign direct investments (FDIs) and infrastructure projects, and grants access to its labor market as a result of the formation of the EAEU.
      At the same time, the formation of the EAEU allows Russia to make up for the loss of access to raw materials. With the dissolution of the USSR, Russia lost the majority of deposits of minerals and metals, such as manganese, titanium, uranium, as well as partially of copper, zinc, and molybdenum, and has to import these raw materials. The EAEU will help Russia be competitive on the markets of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the fight with the USA, EU, and China for these resources.18x Avdeeva 2014.
      The Russian economy is dependent on export of hydrocarbons, and although the oil and gas production is stable, the high volatility of oil prices drastically influences the real sector19x “Real sector” combines industries that produce goods and services, except for the financial, credit, and exchange operations, relating to the financial sector of the economy. The real sector is thus the main thrust of any economy. of the Russian economy. The global financial crisis had affected Russia, which lost many foreign sources in the financing of its domestic banking sector and suffered low prices for gas and oil, as well as economic sanctions.20x Vinokurov 2016, p. 14.
      The situation stabilized now: capital flow in Russia increased for more than two and a half times compared to 2020 and reached 78,5 USD billion in 2021.21x Centralnyi Bank Rossiiskoy Federacii (Central Bank of The Russian Federation) 2021.
      The Russian national currency – the ruble – began to sink in October 2014 and lost approximately 52.2 % of its value against the US dollar.22x If one considers the exchange rates as 37 rubles per dollar in September 2014 and 77.44 rubles per dollar in February 2022 That decrease influenced the national currencies of Kazakhstan and Belarus, and, together with the implementation of the common external tariff in 2010,23x A common external tariff was implemented by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan under the customs union in January 2010. provided Russian goods easier access to its partners’ markets.
      Also, trade exchange trends in the EAEU reveal a strengthening of bilateral links between Russia and other members of the EAEU (the Russian-Belarus share of the EAEU’s trade turnover is 57% and with Kazakhstan 33%)24x The Eurasian Economic Commission 2017, “White Paper,” p. 9. but not networks between other members, such as Kazakhstan and Belarus; that is a positive change for Russia but does not seem so promising for the EAEU as a whole.25x Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015.
      The disadvantage of entering into such a union is that economies of member states become more connected and thus more vulnerable in case of economic crises experienced by others, especially by the economy of a dominant member. Russia is clearly the dominant member. Compared with the European Union, the EAEU is much less equal in economic terms. Before December 2015, Russia’s share in the Union’s GDP was 87%, while the share of the EU’s largest member – Germany – was only 15.8%.26x Barbashin 2015. Thus, while the EU member states are relatively similar in terms of the size of their economies, Russia will stay the disproportionally predominant member of the EAEU, and economic depression that it suffers will negatively affect the other members. On the other side, for Russia it is a big commitment to subsidize other members of the EAEU in hard times for its economy, but political considerations seem to prevail.
      The members other than Russia were exposed to economic risks from the sanctions imposed mutually by the Western states and Russia in regard to the conflict in Ukraine, from low prices for hydrocarbons, and from the devaluation of the Russian ruble to the US dollar. Also, Russia’s costly military campaign in Syria has eroded Russia’s financial stability.
      Even without the EAEU, post-Soviet states would have been influenced by these economic processes, but the Union exacerbated them. For example, Belarus lost $3 billion on the gaps in exchange rates during the downslide of the ruble.27x TASS Russian News Agency 2018. A possible armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine28x BBC 2022. might also negatively impact not only the economy of Russia but the economies of the EAEU member states and the integration processes within the EAEU. Therefore, geopolitical ambitions of the dominant member can affect both the individual members and the institution.
      For Belarus, many economic advantages flow from the formation of the EAEU. As Belarus imports gas and oil, the recent decrease in the oil and gas market influences only the costs of production and not the value of exports as it does for Russia and Kazakhstan. Owing to discounted Russian gas and oil, Belarus saves approximately $10 billion annually.29x Avdeeva 2014. This facilitates the development of its electricity and oil refining business. Discounts-subsidies play a major role in the close integration between Russia and Belarus. Also, nearly 50% of Belarus’ exports go onto the Russian market: it exports machinery and equipment, as well as the products of Belarusian light industry and agriculture, which results in the development of new jobs and the overall growth of the welfare of citizens. Belarus and Russia are the most connected members of the EAEU: 57.14% of mutual trade between the EAEU members accounted for Russia-Belarus trade in 2015 and 54.93% in 2021.30x Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission 2016a). Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission 2021).
      The 2020-2021 political crisis in Belarus followed by the sanctions imposed on Belarus by the European Union enhanced ties between Moscow and Minsk and resulted in growing dependence of the Belarusian government on Russia.31x Reuters 2021. To this end, the interests of Minsk in the EAEU are both economic and political.
      Kazakhstan exports oil and gas, as does Russia. Kazakhstan receives neither Russian oil and gas subsidies nor remittances from migrants working in Russia.32x Tarr 2015. Kazakhstan is Russia’s second largest partner in the EAEU, with 34.82 % of the mutual trade of the EAEU.33x Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission 2021).
      After joining the EAEU Kazakhstan had to adopt a much higher tariff level for third countries,34x “Kazakhstan almost doubled its tariffs in the first year of the Customs Union.” Tarr 2015. which led to losses in revenue from the trade with China and the EU and a significant growth in imports from Russia.35x Ibid. Kazakhstan had probably expected that nontariff barriers for trade would be lowered and that its products would gain easier access to the Russian market. Former World Bank economist David Tarr’s analysis indicates that “Kazakhstan still faces very high non-tariff barriers in Russia and Belarus, and Kazakhstan has not made any significant progress on trade facilitation.”36x Ibid.
      After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan was a partner of Moscow, but not as dependent on Russian economic support as Belarus, or on military support, as Armenia. Political unrest in Kazakhstan in January 2022 shifted the power balance in relations between Russia and Kazakhstan. The President of Kazakhstan Tokayev has asked for a Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) intervention to stabilize the situation in the country.37x Stronski 2022. The operation was quick and the CSTO forces left Kazakhstan once the control was re-established by the Kazakh Government. This action by the Kremlin strengthened the loyalty of President Tokayev, which may affect the devotion of Kazakhstan to the EAEU. Considerations for Armenia lie in both the economic and political spheres. Since it has a conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Armenia needs support from Russia if hostilities escalate. Nagorno-Karabakh (or the Artsakh Republic) is an enclave within Azerbaijan with a predominantly ethnic Armenian population that claims independence and is supported by Armenia. Officially, Nagorno-Karabakh did not become a part of the EAEU, but

      given the lack of customs controls between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, Armenia’s accession to the EAEU was viewed in Azerbaijan as effectively marking the integration of Nagorno-Karabakh’s economy, via Armenia, into the EAEU.38x Melvin and Prelz Oltramonti 2015.

      In the Fall 2020, hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh intensified to an armed conflict. Russia did not rush to render military assistance to Armenia, but Moscow acted as a mediator for the belligerents on reaching the peace deal.39x BBC 2020. Russia deployed its peacekeeping troops to guard the “Lachin corridor” linking Stepanakert, the capital of the Artsakh Republic, to Armenia.40x Ibid. Armenia needs support of Russia in case it is involved in a full-scale war with Azerbaijan, and its participation in the EAEU cannot be separated from this dependency relationship.
      In addition, Armenia has a strong economic incentive to be a part of the EAEU. Remittances constitute 10.5% of the Armenian GDP,41x Personal Remittances Received (% in GDP), The World Bank. and the majority of its labor migrants are employed in Russia for historical, economic, geographic, and political reasons. Joining the Union granted Armenian citizens easier access to the Russian labor market and better conditions: they are not required to obtain employment permits any longer, diplomas of Armenian institutions are recognized by Russia, social security of workers is ensured on the same conditions as for Russians, and income tax of 13% imposed as for residents. These rules are applicable to all the members of the EAEU but are the most important for Armenia and the Kyrgyz Republic because of their reliance on remittances. Despite positive changes in the rules for Armenian labor migrants, the slowdown in Russian economic growth and employment can influence migration patterns and remittances and thereby macroeconomic processes in Armenia.
      The economy of the Kyrgyz Republic is similar to Armenia’s: there is no oil or gas production, and remittances constitute a considerable share of its GDP. The share of remittances in the GDP of the Kyrgyz Republic is the second highest in the world in, reaching 31.3% in 2020, according to World Bank data.42x Ibid. Most of the Kyrgyz labor migrants are employed in Russia and Kazakhstan, and easier access to labor market of the EAEU was an additional attraction. Although there was a visa-free regime with Russia even earlier, most of the migrants were working illegally43x Tarr 2015. owing to the absence of obligatory work permits. Under the EAEU rules, such permits are no longer required for citizens of the member states, and migrants can legalize their position. Despite these positive changes, the recent decline in the Russian and Kazakh economies negatively influenced the volume of remittances and exports.
      A distinctive feature of the Kyrgyz Republic is the large-scale gold production at the Kumtor mine, which generates about 6% of GDP and is the main source of foreign currency in the state.44x Vinokurov 2016, p. 25. The Kyrgyz economy is vulnerable to changing prices of gold and the volume of gold production. As a result, GDP and revenues of the state budget are highly volatile.
      Like Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic had to raise tariffs for imports from third countries as part of the common external tariff regime of the EAEU. Kyrgyzstan imported Chinese textiles, processed them and exported the finished product to Kazakhstan and Russia. Higher prices for Chinese textiles could negatively influence the Kyrgyz textile processing industry.45x Ibid. But these negative factors should be covered by some bonuses. As a part of the deal, Russia promised $1.2 billion in transition aid and improvement of the Kyrgyz gas infrastructure.46x Ibid.
      Thus, despite differences in economic potential, all member states hoped to gain something from their participation in the Union. As stated by the former president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev,

      among negative factors known to all of us, an overall slowdown in the global economy, the Ukrainian crisis and the sanctions policy in relation to Russia, as well as a sharp decline in world prices for our main exports – oil and gas should be noted.47x Kremlin.ru 2015.

      Unfortunately, external as well as internal problems made the EAEU project less attractive than it could have been. Mutual trade in the EAEU has increased 32% in 2021 compared with 2020.48x Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission) 2021. It is a positive change and the highest increase in mutual trade since the creation of the Union. Changes in mutual trade occur owing to internal and external factors. One of the problems is that prices in dollars are usually being used in the calculation of the volume of mutual trade, and prices change but physical flow of goods may stay the same. Other factors that can influence mutual trade can be decreased demand for raw materials (for example, metals in the case of Kazakhstan), price fluctuations on international markets (oil and gas, chemicals), decreased economic activity of the EAEU members and their partners, volatility of mutual exchange rates of the EAEU member states, the fall of the Russian ruble in relation to the US dollar,49x Devaluation of the Russian ruble drastically impacted the national currency of Kazakhstan – the tenge – which depreciated about 20% in 2014 (Pozo-Martín 2015). Subsequent protectionist measures by Kazakhstan led to the suspension of Russian fuel and gas from the Kazakh market in March 2015 (Tarr 2015). and nontariff barriers imposed by the member states.50x Eurasian Economic Union 2015. The situation seems to have improved in comparison with 2015-2016.51x During 2014 -2016 there was a decrease caused by the fall in the supply value of oil and oil products from Russia to Belarus and from Russia to Kazakhstan. Mutual trade in 2015 constituted 74.2% of the trade in 2014, and mutual trade in January 2016 constituted 86.6% of the trade in January 2015. Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission) 2016b, 2016a, 2016c. Trade with third states for the EAEU member states has increased by 34.3 % as well.52x Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission) 2021.
      As for FDI in the region, it grew up to 2013 but is now stagnant, although there is a tendency for FDI from Asia to grow with the strong participation of Chinese investors.53x Eurasian Bank of Development 2017. The European Union is one of the main recipients of Russian and Kazakh FDIs. For 2014, the EU received 58% of Russian and 60% of Kazakh FDI outside the CIS and Georgia.54x Ibid. If the political course of the EAEU and EU remain the same, these numbers will decrease. The volume of FDIs of Armenian, Belarusian, and Kyrgyz companies is rather modest as they have no large companies with competitive advantages interested in FDI.55x Ibid.

    • 3 Tariff and Nontariff Barriers to Trade

      Mutual trade among the EAEU member states has increased recently, and although members have not yet received what they have expected, it is too early to declare the failure of the Union, as it is still young, not all common markets have started to operate, and negative external and internal factors are influencing economic processes in the member states. Still, political will seems to be strong for sustaining the Union and for a continuation of integration. In addition, some advancement in the common labor market augurs well for Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
      Before the Union was created, member states regulated trade through bilateral and multilateral agreements (such as the customs union) and preferable tax regimes for goods produced on their territories. Under the Union’s regulations, the member states adopted a single external tariff56x Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan adopted a single external tariff in January 2010 under the customs union. The single customs tariff is a set of rates of import customs duties applied to goods imported into the common customs territory of the customs union from third countries, classified according to the unified Foreign Economic Activity Commodity Nomenclature of the Customs Union (FEACN of the CU). Eurasian Economic Commission 2016e. for third countries and a common external trade policy. In 2016, the customs code of the EAEU was adopted. For the common external tariff, the member states consented to use the Russian tariff code in view of its size and obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan had to raise tariffs considerably and thus lost some income.57x Kazakhstan had much lower tariffs than Russia and Belarus prior to implementing the single customs tariff. “For Kazakhstan, 45% of tariffs remained the same, 10% were decreased, and 45% increased.” Akhundzada 2014. The year 2020 was set as the target date by which all tariffs, agreed on by the WTO and Russia, had to be implemented. This would result in a reduction of the common external tariff by forty to fifty percent.58x Tarr 2015. Such a decrease would lead to a reduction of the trade diversion costs of the common external tariff, thus increasing trade and revenues. Unfortunately, goods from third states will become more competitive, and EAEU producers may lose market share.59x Ibid.
      Elimination of nontrade barriers (NTB) was one of the objectives of the Union. So far, the member states have reached no major success in this field.60x Ibid. A survey by the Centre for Integration Studies of the Eurasian Development Bank revealed that exporters from Kazakhstan face the highest barriers among the three original members of the EAEU, NTB constitute about 39.8% of the value of their exports to Belarus and about 14% to Russia.61x Ibid. Removal of such barriers will add approximately 2.8% to Belarusian GDP, 0.7% to Kazakhstan, and 0.2% to Russia.62x Evraziiskii Bank razvitiya (Eurasian Development Bank). A study by David Tarr indicates that if the EAEU is successful in reducing NTB and improving trade facilitation, it would yield “for Kazakhstan … benefits of about seven times the losses from the tariff increases.”63x Tarr 2015. Once NTB are reduced, manufacturers of machinery and equipment will benefit the most as in this sector the NTB are the highest. Pulp and paper industry, food industry, and producers of leather and plastic will get considerable advantages as well.64x 63 Eurasian Development Bank, supra note 62.
      In 2017, the Eurasian Economic Commission published ‘The White Paper’, a report on barriers, derogations, and restrictions in the EAEU65x The Eurasian Economic Commission 2017 ‘White paper’. that should facilitate the functioning of the EAEU internal market without barriers. So far, parties have identified about seventy obstacles in the domestic market.66x Eurasian Economic Union 2019b. The Commission plans to improve the functioning of the internal market by monitoring, analytical work, removal of barriers, and reduction in the number of derogations and restrictions.
      One NTB problem that exists in the EAEU is the sanction war between Russia and the Western countries over the conflict in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan do not officially support Russia in this sanction war. Although some authors state that this uncoordinated position is a breach in the Union,67x Tarr 2015. the possibility of unilateral application of economic sanctions is provided by Articles 46 and 47 of the EAEU Treaty. Unfortunately, the sanction war negatively influences relations with the major trade partner of the EAEU members – the European Union – and decreases revenues of both sides. Furthermore, the sanctions imposed gave rise to different smuggling combinations. For example, when European sanctioned goods were transferred from Belarus to Kazakhstan through Russia, cargoes disappeared on the way. Such schemes caused tension between Russia and Belarus.68x Ibid. Abolition of sanctions is not expected soon, and thus more challenges to the EAEU are likely.
      Another technical barrier to trade is sanitary restrictions that are frequently used by states for political aims. The Treaty on the EAEU allows the member states to impose sanitary, veterinary, and phytosanitary quarantine measures (Article 29, Section XI of the Treaty). The Treaty provides that Member States during the mutual trade of goods may apply such measures unless they serve as unjustifiable discrimination or covered restriction on trade. Russia’s sanitary regulator has banned imports of milk from Belarus in 2009, 2017, 2018-2019 due to various reasons allegedly not connected with sanitary control.69x The New York Times 2009. Kazakhstan too was unable to avoid sanitary wars with Russia. In 2015, Kazakhstan banned Russian meat products, stating that production was in violation of quality standards. Russia imposed countermeasures. Together with an overall economic decrease, these measures influenced the level of mutual trade between Kazakhstan and Russia. For example, Russian exports to Kazakhstan decreased by 23.6%, including fuel and energy products by 2.5%, metals by 1/3, and chemical products by 8.8%.70x Sokov 2015. Due to recent events in Belarus and Kazakhstan it is expected that sanitary wars between them and Russia will not occur anytime soon.

    • 4 Brief History of Eurasian Integration

      The formation of the EAEU is rooted in numerous efforts of the former Soviet states to establish closer economic ties while preserving political independence. The CIS is considered to be the first step of the Eurasian integration process.71x Agreement on Establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States signed 8 December 1991, 31 I.L.M. 138 (1992). Development of integration processes in economics, politics, culture, education, trade, and other spheres was one of its main objectives.72x Ibid., Art. 4. Although the creation of the CIS Economic Union was intended in 1993 by the CIS Treaty on Creation of Economic Union (Treaty 1993),73x Commonwealth of Independent States Treaty on Creation of Economic Union signed 24 September 1993, 34 I.L.M. 1298 (1995). plans of the member states were never implemented under this agreement. Treaty 1993 expressed the aspirations of parties to form a single economic space.74x Ibid., Art. 3. The CIS did not play a central role in Eurasian economic integration, and75x Khabarov 1995. economic partnership formed through a series of bilateral and multilateral agreements among the CIS member states.
      As integration in the expanded format was stymied, Russia and Belarus signed an Agreement on the Customs Union on 6 January 1995,76x Agreement on the Customs Union between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus supra note 7. that established the basis for further cooperation and deeper economic integration through the creation of the customs union. The Treaty set up stages of integration that were implemented in subsequent agreements. Russia, Belarus, and, subsequently, Kazakhstan became the driving force of the integration.
      One of the important steps along that path was the Treaty on Increased Integration in the Economic and Humanitarian Fields of 29 March 1996.77x Dogovor mezhdy Respyblikoy Beloryssiya, Respyblikoy Kazakhstan, Kyryzskoy Respyblikoy i Rossiiskoy Federaciei ob yglyblenii integracii v ekonomicheskoy i gymanitarhuh oblastyah (Treaty between the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation on Increased Integration in the Economic and Humanitarian Fields), signed 29 March 1996. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 28 April 1997, # 17, p. 1915, Unofficial Translation. http://cis-legislation.com/document.fwx?rgn=3990. This Treaty still had declarative norms but already provided for the creation of supranational bodies and a Commonwealth of Integrated States in a perspective.78x See Askenchyk 2015. The aforementioned treaty, as well as the Agreement on the Customs Union 1995, was cited in the Treaty on the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone, dated 26 February 1999,79x Treaty on the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone supra note 7. by which Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia agreed to create a common economic space and finish the formation of the customs union. A year later, the same member states signed the Treaty on the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community80x Treaty on the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community supra note 7. to facilitate the process of creating the customs union and common economic space. The Eurasian Economic Community contributed to the creation of the common economic space in 2003 (which started functioning only in 2012) and the Customs Union in 2007 (which began functioning on 1 January 2010) and was liquidated before the Eurasian Economic Union began to operate, in 2015.
      Another important stage was reached in 2011, when a CIS free trade area was established by the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of the Commonwealth of Independent States, dated October 18, 2011,81x Dogovor o zone svobodnoy torgovli (Free Trade Agreement of the Commonwealth of Independent States), signed 18 October 2011, Saint Petersburg. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation 1 October 2012 г. # 40 p. 5340. with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine as members. The Agreement replaced more than one hundred bilateral treaties among CIS member states and provided for the free movement of goods within the area, non-application of import customs duties, non-discrimination, reduction of export customs duties, and cancellation of quantitative restrictions in mutual trade.
      Finally, the highest level of integration was reached on 1 January 2015, by the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Armenia joined the next day, followed by Kyrgyzstan on 12 August 2015. According to Article 1 (2) of the Treaty, the EAEU is an international organization of regional economic integration and possesses an international legal personality.
      The Union, with a GDP of $1.738 trillion in 2020,82x Eurasian Economic Union 2022. which constitutes about 3.2% of the world’s GDP and has a population of 184 million people,83x Ibid. looks like a considerable power. But its GDP is still almost nine times less than that of its analogue, the European Union, whose GDP was $ 15,291 TN in 2020.84x Data, The European Union, The World Bank. The European Union was taken as a model for the goals the framers of the EAEU aspired to achieve in future. Whether that model will work for the EAEU remains to be seen. Although the populations of the EU and EAEU are comparable in size, there are significant differences in their area size and members, particularly Russia’s dominant size in the Union.85x Blockmans et al. 2012. But it took Europeans several decades to reach a comprehensive level of integration, its difficulties in holding itself together are evident even today. The Eurasian integration project has a chance of success if it can withstand the external factors working against it and if the member states are willing to bring further integration.

    • 5 Structure of the Eurasian Economic Union

      A key aspect of an economic union is its institutional structure. The future success of the EAEU will depend in part on the solidity of its institutions. To date, decision-making in the Union reveals less than complete democracy. The governance bodies of the Union are the Supreme Council, Intergovernmental Council, Eurasian Economic Commission, and Court of the Eurasian Economic Union.
      The Supreme Council is the Union’s highest authority and has been formed from the heads of state of the member states. It deals with the most important issues of the Union.
      Decisions of the Supreme Council are to be adopted by consensus, a procedure that protects the interests of the weakest parties, since it allows them to prevent undesirable resolutions. Jarosiewicz and Fischer have suggested that this procedure will require frequent presidential summits and that Russia, as the dominant power of the Union, may be able to pressure weaker members.86x Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015.
      In the hierarchy of the acts of the Union, decisions of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council have superiority over the decisions of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and those of the Commission, and the decisions of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council trump those of the Commission. It is thus anticipated that integration processes will depend on the political will of the Supreme Council and that the Commission may play only a technical role.87x Ibid.; Blockmans et al. 2012.
      The Intergovernmental Council consists of the government heads and is supposed to ensure implementation of the Treaty on EAEU, international agreements of the Union, and the decisions of the Supreme Council. Meetings of the Intergovernmental Council are to be held at least twice a year.
      The Eurasian Economic Commission began operation on 2 February 2012, under the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Commission,88x See Treaty on the Commission of the Customs Union, supra note 7. as an executive body for the Common Economic Zone. With the creation of the EAEU, it assumed the role of its permanent governing body. It deals with everyday administration of the EAEU and is to prepare proposals to further integration processes. The Commission has the status of a supranational body, but the main decisions of the EAEU will be taken through the Supreme Council and the Intergovernmental Council.89x Blockmans et al. 2012. Member states do not appear ready to delegate any considerable power to a supranational organ on the order of the European Commission within the European Union. That conclusion is also confirmed by the lack of a legislative body in the structure of the EAEU, akin to the European Parliament in the EU. This absence one more time indicates control of the executive power over integration processes.90x Tolstykh 2015.
      The Commission consists of a Council and a Board. The Council of the Commission adopts decisions, dispositions, and recommendations within its powers by consensus. If no consensus is reached, an issue is to be referred to the Supreme Council or the Intergovernmental Council.91x Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, supra note 1, Arts. 12(2-9) and 16(2); Regulation on the Eurasian Economic Commission, Art. 29, Annex I to Treaty on The Eurasian Economic Union. If the Council of the Commission takes a decision with which a member state disagrees, the state may request its cancellation or amendment or may submit a letter to the Commission seeking the referral of the matter to the Intergovernmental Council and/or the Supreme Council.92x Regulation on the Eurasian Economic Commission, supra note 87, art. 30. When a decision is contested, it is suspended for the time required for consideration by the Intergovernmental Council and/or the Supreme Council.93x Ibid. This procedure shows once again that the ultimate decision-making power in the Union belongs to the heads of state or the prime ministers of the member states.
      The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union is the judicial body of the Union. Its role is to ensure, in accordance with the provisions of its Statute,94x Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, supra note 1, Statute of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union, Annex II to Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, signed 29 May 2014. http://www.un.org/en/ga/sixth/70/docs/treaty_on_eeu.pdf. uniform application by the member states and bodies of the Union of the EAEU Treaty, international treaties within the Union, and international treaties of the Union with a third party.95x Ibid., Art. 2. As follows from Article 39 of the Statute of the Court, the Court lacks the power to resolve disputes on compliance of a treaty of the EAEU with a third party, or its certain provisions with the EAEU Treaty, on compliance of the member state with such an agreement, on compliance of the decisions of the Commission to a treaty of the Union with a third state. Thus, if the Union enters into a treaty with a third state that is inconsistent with the EAEU Treaty, the Court has no jurisdiction to hear the case.96x Bayldinov 2014.
      As the member states follow the civil legal system, they intend to limit the possibility of judicial activism. For instance, the EAEU Treaty provides that a decision of the Court does not change the existing law of the Union or the legislation of member states. Nor may the Court expand the competence of bodies of the Union in excess of that expressly provided for by the EAEU Treaty or international treaties within the Union. The Court may issue advisory opinions at the request of a member state or a body of the Union, but, as the name implies, advisory opinions are not binding on member states or bodies of the Union.97x See Art. 46-47 of The Statute of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union; Tolstykh 2015.
      The Court can provide clarifications of the EAEU Treaty on EAEU or international treaties within the Union, but such clarifications are only advisory. As a result, the Court’s impact on domestic law enforcement is low. At the same time, member states can give their own interpretation of international treaties that differ from that of the Court. Thus, member states retain freedom for themselves to avoid any undesirable interpretation by the Court. The limited powers of the Court stand in sharp contrast to the powers of the Court of Justice of the European Union, whose decisions are binding on EU member states. In total, the Court considered 82 cases in 2015-2021.98x Syd Evraziiskogo Ekonomicheskogo Souza (The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union) 2021.
      Russian is the working language of the Union, and texts of EAEU documents in Russian are considered to be authentic for purposes of interpretation. Although some authors see that disposition as one more sign of Russian dominance in the Union,99x Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015. use of the Russian language seems logical to the authors as this language was common for all the members during the Soviet times, and most of the population of the Union uses it.

    • 6 New Partners

      At the moment, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia are the Union’s members. Article 108 of the EAEU Treaty provides for the accession to the Union for any state that shares its goals and principles. Furthermore, the Treaty provides for the possibility of withdrawal from it by a member that no longer wishes to be such (Art. 118).
      For the EAEU, the absence of Ukraine as a member is a great loss, because Ukraine, at least prior to its current armed conflict, had a strong economy and a solid economic infrastructure. It shares a border with the EAEU’s main economic partner, the European Union. As a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict over Crimea, and subsequent sanctions by the West, Ukraine seems to be lost to the EAEU as a prospective partner. The other states that were formerly part of the USSR are, similarly, unlikely to join.
      The member states understand the need for new markets and are searching for trade partners. In May 2015, Serzh Sargsyan, the then-president of Armenia, spoke of the need for expansion. “I think it is necessary,” Sargsyan said, speaking at a meeting of the Supreme Council,

      to go on expanding the geography of cooperation southwards, in particular, to establish closer relations with Iran. Also, it is necessary to focus attention on large-scale regional infrastructure projects linking Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf with countries of the Eurasian Economic Union.

      Sargsyan added that cooperation with China has a huge potential.100x TASS Russian News Agency 2015b.
      Expansion is also desired by Russia. By virtue of its complicated relations with the West, Russia has to search for new allies and is using the EAEU to that end. The 2016 celebration in Moscow of Victory Day, which marks the end of World War II, was largely ignored by the Western world, but it was used to promote possible cooperation with new partners.101x TASS Russian News Agency 2015a. These efforts have brought some results. A free trade zone agreement was signed with Vietnam in May 2015. Under this FTA, most of the fisheries, garments, and textiles will be exported to the EAEU with a zero-tariff rate, and certain metals and industrial and agricultural products from the EAEU will not be subject to import taxes in Vietnam.102x Johnson 2015.
      In 2018, the EAEU entered into the Interim Agreement leading to the formation of an FTA with the Islamic Republic of Iran103x Eurasian Economic Commission 2018b. and the Agreement on Economic and Trade cooperation with China.104x Eurasian Economic Commission 2018a. An FTA with the EU, as a major trade partner of the EAEU members, would be a great achievement for both entities, and suggestions of such cooperation have been made. Unfortunately, political reasons, primarily, the Crimea question, stand in the way. Sanctions wars harm both sides, and strengthening of the EAEU links with the East plays against the EU. For example, Russian policy on import phase-out calls for the production of domestic goods or imports from EAEU member states in place of imports from Europe. As the EAEU expands partnerships to the East, the EU may lose market share in Eurasia.
      The EAEU has moved to establish contacts well beyond Eurasia. In 2015-2016, the EAEU signed memoranda of understanding with Peru, Chile, Cambodia, Singapore, Public Procurement Service and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea, with such international organizations as the World Customs Organization and International Air Transport Association. Although these memoranda do not constitute hard-and-fast undertakings, they provide a basis for future cooperation.
      India, Israel, and Egypt are considered as possible future partners. Owing to the conflict in Ukraine, many possible FTAs have been set aside for the time being, for example, with the EU or New Zealand. As Russia is serious in regard to its claims over Crimea, trade facilitation between the EAEU and the Western world will not go smoothly. Partners for FTAs are more likely to be found among Asian and Eastern states.

    • 7 Conclusion

      The Eurasian Economic Union represents a new stage in Eurasian integration. The Union, as presently constituted, has limited operational powers owing to a structure that does not fully exploit the possibilities of a supranational executive organ. Instead, decision-making remains in the hands of the governments of the member states. The absence of a parliament and a court with only limited powers gives further indication that the Eurasian Economic Union has a long way to go before it could be the kind of union that Europe has formed in the European Union. To date, one sees only a limited willingness to delegate powers to the Union.
      Even though in a formal sense it has begun to function, the Union is not fully operational as important common markets for electricity, transport, gas, and oil are not integrated and will start operating only in 2025. However, there are evident achievements in implementation of the common market of the goods and labor market. Free movement of workers is especially important for the new members – Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – owing to the importance of remittances for both their economies. So far, these are the greatest achievements.
      Unfortunately, at the beginning of its existence the Eurasian Economic Union faced serious problems, in particular, the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Western states, low prices for oil, minerals, and metals, devaluation of national currencies, and global economic recession. The negative influence of nontariff barriers is an internal factor that is considered by the EAEU Commission and of the EAEU member states.
      At the same time, the member states aspire to enlarge the geographic zone of cooperation and are taking steps to build relations with non-Western states. If the members of the EAEU can find ways out of the current external pressures and are able to shore up the institutional structure, this project of integration and trade liberalization will not end up unfinished, as previous Eurasian integration projects have.

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    • Vinokurov E (ed.) (2016) Sovmestnyi doklad Evraziiskoy Ekonomicheskoy Komissii i Evraziiskogo Banka Razvitiya, Sistema analiza i makroekonomicheskogo prognozirovaniya evraziiskogo ekonomicheskogo souza (Joint Report of the Eurasian Economic Commission and Eurasian Bank of Development, System of Analysis and Macroeconomic Framework of the Eurasian Economic Union). Eurasian Bank of Development, p. 14. http://www.eabr.org/general//upload/EDB_Centre_Report_35new_RUS.pdf. Accessed 10 April 2016.

    • Navas-Sabater, Juan; Petrov,Oleg V (2018) The EAEU 2025 digital agenda : prospects and recommendations – overview report (English). Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/850581522435806724/The-EAEU-2025-digital-agenda-prospects-and-recommendations-overview-report.

    • Zavrazhin K and Latukhina K (2014) Putin gotov podpisat’ dogovor o EAES (Putin Is Ready to Sign a Treaty on the EAEU). In Rossiiskaya Gazeta. http://rg.ru/2014/05/29/putin-site.html. Accessed 10 April 2016.

    • Zayavleniya dlya pressu po itogam vstrechi liderov Rossii, Beloryssii I Kazakhstana (Press Statement Following Meeting of the leaders of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan) (2015) In Kremlin.ru. http://kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/47893. Accessed 10 April 2016.

    Noten

    • * This article is a result of research carried out within the research group “Person, Institutions and Justice Requirements,” recognized and categorized in (A1) by COLCIENCIAS, registered with COL0120899 code linked to the Centro de Investigaciones Socio jurídicas (CISJUC), and sponsored by the Law Faculty of Universidad Catolica of Colombia in Bogota.
    • 1 Dogovor o Evraziiskom ekonomicheskom souse (Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union), signed 29 May 2014, Astana. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 2015, # 8, p. 1107, Unofficial Translation. http://www.un.org/en/ga/sixth/70/docs/treaty_on_eeu.pdf.

    • 2 Eurasian Economic Union 2019a.

    • 3 Eurasian Economic Union 2019b.

    • 4 Klapper 2012.

    • 5 See, e.g., former president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that the Union “in no way questions the independence or political sovereignty of the states participating in the integration process.” Panfilova 2014; and president of Russia V. Putin: “The document takes our countries to a fundamentally new level of integration, fully preserving state sovereignty…” Zavrazhin and Latukhina 2014.

    • 6 Eurasian Economic Commission -2015.

    • 7 Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia started to operate in January 2010. The Customs Union was created under the following international agreements:
      1. Agreement on the Customs Union between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, signed 6 January 1995, Minsk, 2212 UNTS 63;
      2. Soglashenie o Tamozhennom Souze (Agreement on the Customs Union between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus and Kazakhstan), signed 20 January 1995, Moscow. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation 15 October 2007 # 42 p. 4938, Unofficial Translation. http://rtais.wto.org/rtadocs/857/TOA/English/THE%20AGREEMENT%20ON%20THE%20CUSTOMS%20UNION.docx.3);
      3. Treaty on the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan), signed 26 February 1999, Moscow. 2212 UNTS 103;
      4. Treaty on the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community, signed 10 October 2000, as amended and supplemented 25 January 2006 and 6 October 2007, 2212 UNTS 257;
      5. Dogovor o Komissii tamozhennogo souza (Treaty on the Commission of the Customs Union), signed 6 October 2007, Dushanbe. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 21 March 2011, #12 p. 1553;
      6. Dogovor o sozdanii edino tamozhennoy territorii i formirovanii tamozhennogo souza (Agreement on Creation of Common Customs Territory and Establishment of Customs Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia), signed 6 October 2007, Dushanbe. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 21 March 2011, # 12 p. 1552.

    • 8 Eurasian Economic Commission 2014.

    • 9 Ibid., p. 32.

    • 10 Soglashenie o edinyh principah i pravilah obrascheniya medicinskih izdelii (izdelii medicinskogo naznacheniya I medicinskoy tehniki) v. ramkah Evraziiskogo ekonomicheskogo souza (Agreement on the Uniform Principles and Rules Governing Market Circulation of Medical Devices within The Eurasian Economic Union), signed 23 December 2014, Moscow. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 16 May 2016, # 20 p. 2775.

    • 11 See Gorodissky and Partners 2015. GxP refers to the “Good Practices” applicable within the pharmaceutical industry. The “x” is a placeholder. GxP include Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and Good Clinical Practice (GCP). See SMB Validation and Compliance Group.

    • 12 Navas-Sabater & Petrov 2018.

    • 13 Eurasian Economic Commission 2020a. See also Supreme Eurasian Economic Council 2020.

    • 14 Eurasian Economic Commission 2020a.

    • 15 Services in 53 sectors are already transitioned to the common market and some are in process, for example, a common market of audit services will start operating in 2022. Eurasian Economic Commission 2020b.

    • 16 Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015.

    • 17 “Before the ruble’s collapse in December, Russia accounted for 87% of the Union’s total GDP and 83% of its population. By comparison, the EU’s largest economy, Germany, represents about 15.8% of its GDP and just 6% of its population.” Barbashin 2015.

    • 18 Avdeeva 2014.

    • 19 “Real sector” combines industries that produce goods and services, except for the financial, credit, and exchange operations, relating to the financial sector of the economy. The real sector is thus the main thrust of any economy.

    • 20 Vinokurov 2016, p. 14.

    • 21 Centralnyi Bank Rossiiskoy Federacii (Central Bank of The Russian Federation) 2021.

    • 22 If one considers the exchange rates as 37 rubles per dollar in September 2014 and 77.44 rubles per dollar in February 2022

    • 23 A common external tariff was implemented by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan under the customs union in January 2010.

    • 24 The Eurasian Economic Commission 2017, “White Paper,” p. 9.

    • 25 Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015.

    • 26 Barbashin 2015.

    • 27 TASS Russian News Agency 2018.

    • 28 BBC 2022.

    • 29 Avdeeva 2014.

    • 30 Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission 2016a). Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission 2021).

    • 31 Reuters 2021.

    • 32 Tarr 2015.

    • 33 Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission 2021).

    • 34 “Kazakhstan almost doubled its tariffs in the first year of the Customs Union.” Tarr 2015.

    • 35 Ibid.

    • 36 Ibid.

    • 37 Stronski 2022.

    • 38 Melvin and Prelz Oltramonti 2015.

    • 39 BBC 2020.

    • 40 Ibid.

    • 41 Personal Remittances Received (% in GDP), The World Bank.

    • 42 Ibid.

    • 43 Tarr 2015.

    • 44 Vinokurov 2016, p. 25.

    • 45 Ibid.

    • 46 Ibid.

    • 47 Kremlin.ru 2015.

    • 48 Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission) 2021.

    • 49 Devaluation of the Russian ruble drastically impacted the national currency of Kazakhstan – the tenge – which depreciated about 20% in 2014 (Pozo-Martín 2015). Subsequent protectionist measures by Kazakhstan led to the suspension of Russian fuel and gas from the Kazakh market in March 2015 (Tarr 2015).

    • 50 Eurasian Economic Union 2015.

    • 51 During 2014 -2016 there was a decrease caused by the fall in the supply value of oil and oil products from Russia to Belarus and from Russia to Kazakhstan. Mutual trade in 2015 constituted 74.2% of the trade in 2014, and mutual trade in January 2016 constituted 86.6% of the trade in January 2015. Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission) 2016b, 2016a, 2016c.

    • 52 Evraziiskaya ekonomicheskaya komissiya (Eurasian Economic Commission) 2021.

    • 53 Eurasian Bank of Development 2017.

    • 54 Ibid.

    • 55 Ibid.

    • 56 Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan adopted a single external tariff in January 2010 under the customs union. The single customs tariff is a set of rates of import customs duties applied to goods imported into the common customs territory of the customs union from third countries, classified according to the unified Foreign Economic Activity Commodity Nomenclature of the Customs Union (FEACN of the CU). Eurasian Economic Commission 2016e.

    • 57 Kazakhstan had much lower tariffs than Russia and Belarus prior to implementing the single customs tariff. “For Kazakhstan, 45% of tariffs remained the same, 10% were decreased, and 45% increased.” Akhundzada 2014.

    • 58 Tarr 2015.

    • 59 Ibid.

    • 60 Ibid.

    • 61 Ibid.

    • 62 Evraziiskii Bank razvitiya (Eurasian Development Bank).

    • 63 Tarr 2015.

    • 64 63 Eurasian Development Bank, supra note 62.

    • 65 The Eurasian Economic Commission 2017 ‘White paper’.

    • 66 Eurasian Economic Union 2019b.

    • 67 Tarr 2015.

    • 68 Ibid.

    • 69 The New York Times 2009.

    • 70 Sokov 2015.

    • 71 Agreement on Establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States signed 8 December 1991, 31 I.L.M. 138 (1992).

    • 72 Ibid., Art. 4.

    • 73 Commonwealth of Independent States Treaty on Creation of Economic Union signed 24 September 1993, 34 I.L.M. 1298 (1995).

    • 74 Ibid., Art. 3.

    • 75 Khabarov 1995.

    • 76 Agreement on the Customs Union between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus supra note 7.

    • 77 Dogovor mezhdy Respyblikoy Beloryssiya, Respyblikoy Kazakhstan, Kyryzskoy Respyblikoy i Rossiiskoy Federaciei ob yglyblenii integracii v ekonomicheskoy i gymanitarhuh oblastyah (Treaty between the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation on Increased Integration in the Economic and Humanitarian Fields), signed 29 March 1996. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation, 28 April 1997, # 17, p. 1915, Unofficial Translation. http://cis-legislation.com/document.fwx?rgn=3990.

    • 78 See Askenchyk 2015.

    • 79 Treaty on the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone supra note 7.

    • 80 Treaty on the Establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community supra note 7.

    • 81 Dogovor o zone svobodnoy torgovli (Free Trade Agreement of the Commonwealth of Independent States), signed 18 October 2011, Saint Petersburg. Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation 1 October 2012 г. # 40 p. 5340.

    • 82 Eurasian Economic Union 2022.

    • 83 Ibid.

    • 84 Data, The European Union, The World Bank.

    • 85 Blockmans et al. 2012.

    • 86 Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015.

    • 87 Ibid.; Blockmans et al. 2012.

    • 88 See Treaty on the Commission of the Customs Union, supra note 7.

    • 89 Blockmans et al. 2012.

    • 90 Tolstykh 2015.

    • 91 Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, supra note 1, Arts. 12(2-9) and 16(2); Regulation on the Eurasian Economic Commission, Art. 29, Annex I to Treaty on The Eurasian Economic Union.

    • 92 Regulation on the Eurasian Economic Commission, supra note 87, art. 30.

    • 93 Ibid.

    • 94 Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, supra note 1, Statute of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union, Annex II to Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, signed 29 May 2014. http://www.un.org/en/ga/sixth/70/docs/treaty_on_eeu.pdf.

    • 95 Ibid., Art. 2.

    • 96 Bayldinov 2014.

    • 97 See Art. 46-47 of The Statute of the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union; Tolstykh 2015.

    • 98 Syd Evraziiskogo Ekonomicheskogo Souza (The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union) 2021.

    • 99 Jarosiewicz and Fischer 2015.

    • 100 TASS Russian News Agency 2015b.

    • 101 TASS Russian News Agency 2015a.

    • 102 Johnson 2015.

    • 103 Eurasian Economic Commission 2018b.

    • 104 Eurasian Economic Commission 2018a.

This article is a result of research carried out within the research group “Person, Institutions and Justice Requirements,” recognized and categorized in (A1) by COLCIENCIAS, registered with COL0120899 code linked to the Centro de Investigaciones Socio jurídicas (CISJUC), and sponsored by the Law Faculty of Universidad Catolica of Colombia in Bogota.

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