Russia’s Concerns for the EU-Ukraine Association: Myths and Realities

Authors

  • Oleksandr I. Shnyrkov Head of the Department of World Economy and International Economic Relations Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
  • Oleksandr І. Rogach Head of the Department of International Finance of Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, , Ukraine
  • Oleksii A Chugaiev Department of World Economy and International Economic Relations Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14666/2194-7759-4-2-002

Keywords:

Economic integration - European integration - Free trade Trade diversion - Third country effect

Abstract

Reaction of Russian Federation to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as a part of it is a significant
challenge for Ukraine. A great majority of Russia’s concerns can be questioned or
be easily solved by legal instruments. Instead Russia practiced hard negotiations in
a form of economic war against Ukraine. Hypothetical and practical concessions to
Russia related to the Association Agreement implementation are discussed. We pay
special attention to raising competition for Russian exports as a possible motivation
for actions of Russia. The paper studies two possible motivations in details. The first
one is the possibility of increased competitive pressure of Ukrainian exports to the EU
on Russian exports to the EU because of the EU preferential treatment for Ukraine
(competition in the EU market). And the second one is the possibility of increased
competitive pressure of the EU exports to Ukraine on Russian exports to Ukraine
because of Ukraine’s preferential treatment for the EU (competition in Ukrainian
market). We compare trade structures of bilateral exports of the three countries to
estimate the possibility of such motivations. Our calculations show that increase in
competitive pressure on Russian exports is rather low. Our research provides the
evidence in favor the presumption that economically the EU-Ukraine DCFTA is only
a minor challenge for the Russian economy, and hard approach to Ukraine is rather a
political decision of Russian authorities. Return to non-confrontation regime can be
mutually beneficial for Ukraine, the EU and Russia.

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Published

2015-12-23

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