Conjugation of the Eurasian economic union and the belt road initiative: the role and place of Kazakhstan

Aida T. Yerimpasheva, Aida M. Myrzakhmetova, Dina U. Alshimbayeva


Relevance. In mass media, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian economic integration are considered as the driving forces behind Eurasia’s development. Nevertheless, the processes of Eurasian integration have been impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 2020-22 have been marked by political turmoil in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states. Modelled on the European Union, the Eurasian Union increasingly resembles the former Soviet Union, which is a matter of concern for the member states. On the other hand, the growing democratic sentiments in the post-Soviet countries and the competition between Russia and China for influence in Eurasia make the cooperation of the EAEU and the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) more problematic. 

Research objective. The study examines the opportunities and challenges associated with the possible integration of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Belt Road Initiative.

Methods and Data.  In this paper, we used an exploratory research design relying on collecting secondary and primary qualitative data. Methodologically, the study is based on the approaches of positive and nominative economics. The qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews helped us gain insight into the economic problems of the EAEU member states. We also analyzed the dynamics of each member country’s GDP and compared it with that of China for the period from 2012 to present.

Results. The compatibility of national and transnational interests in the EAEU programs is one of the main issues that have to be addressed. There have been specified areas of the EAEU’s development, many of which reveal the Russian Federation’s dominating role in managing the Union. According to the experts we have interviewed, to implement its programs, the EAEU needs significant centralization of power. On the other hand, the unresolved social, economic, and political issues can become a significant obstacle to the integration.

Conclusion.  Despite the widespread belief that the BRI would bring significant welfare and trade benefits to its participants, the EAEU member countries and China first need to focus on implementing political reforms, which the social and economic agenda hinges upon.


cooperation, integration, infrastructure, Eurasian Economic Union. Belt Road Initiative, complex interdependence

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Copyright (c) 2022 Aida T. Yerimpasheva, Aida M. Myrzakhmetova, Dina U. Alshimbayeva

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