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Oleg Petrovich-Belkin, Svetlana Bokeriya1, Arkady Yeryomin2
  • 1 RUDN, 10 Miklukho-Maklaya Str., Moscow, 117198, Russia
  • 2 International Relations of Peoples' Friendship University of Russia , 6 Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russia

The Problem of Russia’s Declining Influence in the Former Soviet Union: Why Are the CIS Countries Drifting Toward Multilateralism?

2019. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 94–112 [issue contents]

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the problem of Russia’s relations with the countries of the former USSR has traditionally been the focus of attention of both the academic and the expert community. This issue becomes especially urgent in the context of significant changes in world politics caused by the rapid deterioration of relations between Russia and the western world following the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. This article identifies the key economic, political and social factors having a negative impact on the current dynamics of relations between the Russian Federation and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and thereby gradually decreasing Russia’s influence in the former Soviet Union.

The article is structured around three groups of factors — objective, ambivalent and subjective — which impede the growth of Russia’s influence in the former Soviet Union. Objective factors are related to economic and political issues, ambivalent (mixed) factors are those of sociocultural and historical nature and subjective factors are predominantly psychological. Based on an extensive analysis of relevant material, the authors conclude that the CIS countries refuse to follow the pro-Russian path not only (and in some cases not so much) due to the objective need of the post-Soviet countries for diversified political, trading and economic ties, but also (and rather) for several subjective, social and cultural, political and psychological factors considered in detail below. An important conclusion of this research is that most subjective factors negatively affecting the efficiency of Russia’s policy in the former Soviet Union can be potentially and significantly minimized in a relatively short term. Objective factors, especially those concerning Russia’s declining role in the world economy and its reduced trade volumes with the CIS countries, on the contrary, are of a rather long-term nature and therefore it may take a considerable amount of time to adjust the current dynamics.


Petrovich-Belkin O., Bokeriya S., Yeryomin A. (2019) The Problem of Russia’s Declining Influence in the Former Soviet Union: Why Are the CIS Countries Drifting Toward Multilateralism? International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 14, no 1, pp. 94-112 (in English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2019-01-06.

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