Choosing Europe over Russia: What Has Ukraine Gained?
European Politics and Society, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 1–16, 2016
29 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2016 Last revised: 3 May 2016
Date Written: March 15, 2016
Ukraine's choice of European association and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU over membership in the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) advocated by Russia has plunged the country into chaos and led to the most serious security crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War. While much has been said about Russia's role in provoking the crisis and contributing to Ukraine's misery, the discussion of relative economic merits of Ukraine's European association versus Eurasian integration has been put on back burner now that Ukraine's choice seems to be clear. This article revisits the question, arguing that the DCFTA increases the country's vulnerability to external shocks and accelerates the decline of domestic industry. In the short- to mid-term perspectives, Ukraine would be better off as a member of the common economic space with Russia and other ECU states, while in the long-term perspective ECU membership could offer a less painful, albeit more protracted, path to economic modernization.
Keywords: Ukraine, Foreign Economic Relations, Russia, EU, DCFTA, Eurasian Customs Union, Regional Integration
JEL Classification: F10, F13, F15, F17, F43, O10, O19, O52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation