Regional Developments: Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Emblem of the Eurasian Economic Union; Source: Eurasian Commission, licensed in the public domain under the Wikimedia Commons

The crisis in and around Ukraine has had noticeable effects on the political systems and societies of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Authoritarian regimes have responded by tightening domestic repression, justifying this in terms of guarding against Ukrainian scenarios. All governments and political elites in Russia's neighbourhood express alarm at Moscow's disregard for territorial integrity and sovereignty. This also has repercussions for the Eurasian Economic Union. Moscow has long been working to accelerate integration processes in Eurasia. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have followed, while at the same time seeking to guard against excessive Russian influence. Economic problems across the region call into question the expansion and deepening of Eurasian integration.

Georgia and Moldova, both of which – like Ukraine – signed association agreements with the EU in 2014, stand under great pressure. Already internally unstable and economically weak, they face secessionist conflicts that lend Russia opportunities to project influence. Across the region, the preconditions for conflict resolution and regional cooperation have deteriorated dramatically in the course of the Ukraine crisis.

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