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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in 15 newly independent states: three on the Baltic Sea (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), three bordering Europe (Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova), three along the Caucasus mountains (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), five in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), and Russia. Collectively called Eurasia, the region is contested: the Baltic states joined the European Union (EU), Ukraine remains strongly divided between Europe and Russia, a customs union ties together Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, and a security agreement (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization) includes China, Russia, and the Central Asian states. The effects of the various agreements are hard to determine, given that many have only recently been implemented. Regionalization is weak, with few documented effects. Research that combines the rich empirics of Eurasian scholars with the theoretical focus of Western scholars will further our understanding of the effects of these overlapping regions.

Keywords: Russia, Eurasia, customs union, Central Asia, newly independent states, regionalization

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