UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


The interaction of Eurasian integration with the EU and the Silk Road

22 June 2018, 9:15 am–6:00 pm

Silk Road Logo

International Politics and Political Economy

Event Information

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SSEES, Room 347 and Masaryk Senior Common Room

Vladimir Putin’s proposal to establish the Eurasian Union, while capitalizing on domestic Soviet nostalgia, had two further main aims: to enhance Russia’s security and political clout; and to ensure a favourable climate for Russian business in the former Soviet republics, where Russia’s influence has generally been in decline since the collapse of the USSR. Western influence, especially in the states attracted by European Union (EU) integration, and Chinese economic penetration in Central Asia have both grown at the expense of Russia. Putin sought to re-assert the Kremlin’s interests. He saw the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in January 2015 as the first step towards the creation of a political Eurasian Union, and the EEU is widely seen as primarily a geopolitical initiative promoted by Russia.

The fundamental question for this one-day workshop will be whether the EEU is viable as a force for integration, and whether it can cope with the rival integration processes facing it from West and East. This is linked with other questions. Does the EU, weakened by Brexit, the immigration crisis and emerging nationalism among its Eastern members, still offer an attractive alternative for the people of the post-Soviet states? Is China’s rise unstoppable? What would make Moscow stop bandwagoning with Beijing on the world stage and instead balance against it? 

 Draft Programme

Welcome from the Director of UCL SSEES, Professor Diane P Koenker

and Introduction to the Workshop


1. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)

Chair: Dr Ben Noble (UCL SSEES)

Dr Pete Duncan (UCL SSEES) ‘Russia’s interests and the EEU’

Dr Amat Adarov (Vienna Institute of International Economic Studies) ‘Eurasian Economic Union: an Economic Perspective’

Prof Rilka Dragneva-Lewers (University of Birmingham) ‘The development of the EEU (political and legal focus)’
11.15-11.30Coffee break

2. EU neighbourhood policy and the post-Soviet states

Chair: Dr Filipa Figueira (UCL SSEES)

Dr Filipa Figueira (UCL SSEES) ‘EU neighbourhood policy’

Prof Elena Korosteleva (University of Kent) ‘Resilience as a new EU strategy for a changing eastern region: challenges and opportunities’

Dr Sofia Tipaldou (University of Manchester) ‘Ukraine and the interaction of Russia/EEU and the EU’


3. Relations between the EEU and its member-states with the EU

Chair: Artur Radziwill (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

Academician Vladimir Baranovsky (Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow – IMEMO) ‘Russia/EEU political relations with EU and its members’

Dr Simon Pirani (University of Oxford) ‘How Russia/EEU economic relations with the EU are reflected in the natural gas trade’

Dr Rasmus Nilsson (UCL SSEES) ‘Russia and Belarus’

15.30-15.45Coffee break

4. China, the Silk Road and the EEU

Chair: Xinxing Li (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

Raffaello Pantucci (RUSI) ‘China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Plans and Prospects’

Peter Braga (UCL SSEES) ‘China and the EEU’

Dr Natasha Kuhrt (King’s College London) ‘Russia/EEU interaction with the Belt and Road Initiative’

Kaneshko Sangar (UCL SSEES) ‘The Silk Road in historical perspective’

5. Conclusion on the viability of the EEU - Round Table

Chair: Dr Pete Duncan (UCL SSEES)

Dr Filipa Figueira (UCL SSEES)

Prof Rilka Dragneva-Lewers (University of Birmingham)

Artur Radziwill (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

Prof Andrew Wilson (UCL SSEES)

List of Speakers

Amat Adarov is an Economist at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies.

Vladimir Baranovsky is an Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Professor at the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Peter Braga is a PhD student at UCL SSEES.

Rilka Dragneva-Lewers is Professor of International Legal Studies at the Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham.

Pete Duncan is Senior Lecturer in Russian Politics and Society at UCL SSEES.

Filipa Figueira is Teaching Fellow in Economics and Politics at UCL SSEES.

Diane P. Koenker is Director of UCL SSEES and Professor of Russian and Soviet History.

Elena Korosteleva is Professor of International Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics at the University of Kent.

Natasha Kuhrt is Lecturer in the Department of War Studies, King's College London.

Xinxing Li is Principal Adviser to the Managing Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Rasmus Nilsson is Teaching Fellow in Russian Foreign and Security Policy at UCL SSEES.

Ben Noble is Lecturer in Russian Politics at UCL SSEES.

Raffaello Pantucci is Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

Simon Pirani is Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, University of Oxford.

Artur Radziwill is Director of Country Strategy and Policy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Kaneshko Sangar has just completed his PhD at UCL SSEES.

Sofia Tipaldou is Marie Curie Research Fellow in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Manchester.

Andrew Wilson is Professor of Ukrainian Studies at UCL SSEES.


This workshop has been organised by Dr Pete Duncan and Dr Filipa Figuiera, with the support of the UCL Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies.

Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies