INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS RESEARCH JOURNAL, 2018 (3) en-us Copyright 2018 Tue, 20 Nov 2018 00:04:16 +0300 Guest Editor’s Foreword. Joint Agenda for Greater Eurasia Guest expert’s foreword. Creating Greater Eurasia’s Economic Space: Challenges for the Eurasian Economic Union The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Greater Eurasia This article analyses the current role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the development of international cooperation in the Eurasian space and explores the prospects for multifaceted cooperation within the framework of the Organisation. The analysis shows that steady dialog between neighbouring states, aimed at the search for common interests in addressing common regional challenges, is vital for sustainable growth under current conditions. The maintenance of security throughout the cooperative effort plays a key role. The presence of these elements promotes the gradual integration of different approaches to the development of regional economic collaboration as well as a co-evolutionary transformation of economic interests.The article also examines the characteristics of the partnership system within the framework of the SCO with respect to international cooperation. This system is able to provide an institutional platform for broad regional economic cooperation in the context of Eurasian development, the implementation of new national strategies by SCO members, joint efforts for the further integration and development of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the realization of the Chinese One Belt One Road initiative with its potential to form a greater partnership in Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region. The Concept of "Greater Eurasia" in the Turn of Russia to the East The last two or three years have become a time of an unprecedented rise of interest to Eurasia. The Russian initiative to create Greater Eurasia, which is seen as the main conceptual framework for promoting various cooperation projects in the region, is often criticized for the lack of concrete content. Given the growing number of regional initiatives including from China and India Russia needs not only to formulate an attractive idea, but also to show its relevance and efficiency.Despite the absence of objective historical conditions for its implementation the concept of ‘Greater Eurasia’ can become a rational practical embodiment of a wide range of development and security priorities for many countries in the region. The problem of the study is the absence of objective prerequisites for the creation of Greater Eurasia while there is a wide range of subjective reasons.The article examines the preconditions for the emergence of Greater Eurasia as well as various ways of this concept’s perception and political interpretation. For historical reasons projects for the consolidation of Eurasia have largely remained on paper, but the current regional and global trends create relevant conditions for their implementation.The study analyzes the content of Eurasian integration and possible formats of cooperation within it. Particular emphasis is made on security issues, economic interaction, and the development of institutions in the Eurasian space. The authors stress the need for reform of the OSCE in order to bring its activities closer to the current geopolitical conditions. The prospects for the development of the SCO and its role in Greater Eurasia are also under consideration.Special attention is paid to relations with potential participants of Greater Eurasia project (including European countries) and non-regional actors. Eurasian integration is also analyzed from the European integration perspective. According to authors’ estimations, in EAUE there is a need for greater attention to the issue of state sovereignty (similar to the European experience of country representatives and expert groups) and strengthening the institutional capacity of organization. Risk Assessment of Trade Liberalization with Asian Countries in the Context of Russia’s Policy of Pivot to Asia Trade liberalization with Asian countries is a key issue on the agenda of Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) economic and trade connectivity with the Asia-Pacific region (APR). However, the signing of free trade agreements (FTAs) has traditionally been negatively perceived in both Russia and EAEU partner countries because of the extremely conservative prevailing trade policy. This study simulated the situation of full liberalization of Russian trade in goods with Rep. of Korea (here and after: Korea), Singapore, India, Japan and China to assess the risks of such agreements. The countries were selected on the basis of the current negotiating tracks of the EAEU and the analysis of Russian foreign trade with the APR countries. The simulation was performed using a partial equilibrium model built with the SMART software provided by the World Integrated Trade Solution.The article highlights key product groups, increases in imports of which can be expected with a complete abolition of import duties by Russia (taking into account sensitive tariff lines). In addition, the authors conclude that in this case, imports of Indian and Korean products will increase by approximately 7.5%, and imports from Japan and Singapore, respectively, by 7% and 6.5% of the cost of imports from these countries in 2016. The simulation showed an 8% increase in imports from China, which in absolute terms exceeds the current level of trade with India and Singapore combined. This confirms the low probability of starting the FTA negotiations with China in short and medium term.The article was supported by Russian Science Foundation Grant No 17-18-01577 “Developing the Community of Greater Eurasia and Strategy of Russia’s Bilateral Partnership with Countries of the Region”. Security Institutions in Greater Eurasia: Implications for Russia In this article, the authors analyze the current state and prospects for the development of key institutions in the field of regional security in Eurasia. ASEAN-led mechanisms and the Eurasian "continental" formats, represented by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have been chosen as a case-study.Special focus is put on the possibility of connecting Russia with multilateral security initiatives in Eurasia in terms of promoting Russian strategic interests, as well as realizing the potential of the SCO as a structural pillar of the emerging geostrategic space - Greater Eurasia.The authors conclude that the current state of regional institutions in the field of security does not fully correspond to Russia's interests due to the institutional limitations of multilateral formats.According to the authors, the main reason why the ASEAN-led dialogue platforms on security issues are not able to realize its potential in addressing main challenges is the nature of the principles of ASEAN cooperation that hamper the process of making a collective decision.Regarding the SCO, the authors believe that the key problem in the foreseeable future may be the achievement of consensus among the participating states after the enlargement (the accession of India and Pakistan) and, as a consequence, the need to transform the institutional format to new realities.In conclusion, the authors argue that in the long-term perspective the development of the institutional environment of Greater Eurasia for the purpose of ensuring regional security should be carried out through close coordination between the SCO and other security formats - the CSTO and the ASEAN-led dialogue structures.The article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation. Project no. 17-18-01577 «Creation of Greater Eurasia and the Development of Strategy for Bilateral Cooperation Between Russia and Regional Countries». Development of Multilateral Economic Institutions in Greater Eurasia: Problems, Prospects and Implications for Russia In this paper, the author analyzes the current state and prospects of integration associations and formats of multilateral cooperation in terms of implementing the initiative of the Comprehensive Eurasian Partnership. The paper examines the role of this initiative as an instrument of Russian policy and assesses its potential for strengthening international cooperation in Eurasia. In particular, the possibilities of harmonizing key projects and initiatives within the framework of the idea of co-development of the continent's states are analyzed. In particular, the authors study the possibility of harmonizing key projects and initiatives within the framework of the idea of continental states co-development «Greater Eurasia». The paper also explores the potential of the largest multilateral formats in Eurasia, both in the economic sphere - Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), «One Belt, One Road» (OBOR), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).A special focus is put on the possibility of connecting Russia to integration projects and security initiatives in Eurasia in terms of advancing its strategic interests, as well as realizing the potential of EAEU as a structural pillar of «Greater Eurasia» institutional environment.The author comes to the conclusion that the current state of regional institutions, both in the economic and security spheres, does not fully correspond to Russia's interests. In the economic sphere, «Greater Eurasia» is experiencing institutional congestion, caused by the existence of a number of parallel developing integration initiatives and mechanisms for economic cooperation.Proceeding from this, it is concluded that the strengthening of the Union as the institutional core of Greater Eurasia is one of the key factors in the formation of a balanced normative mega space.The article has been supported by a grant of the Russian Science Foundation. Project no. 17-18-01577 «Creation of Greater Eurasia and the Development of Strategy for Bilateral Cooperation Between Russia and Regional Countries». Building a Common Eurasian Infrastructure: Agenda for the Eurasian Economic Union The paper focuses on the development trends of the transport infrastructure of Eurasia in the context of the economic and political integration of the countries at this continent. Leading states of the Asia-Pacific region (APR) made proposals on large-scale infrastructure projects in the Eurasian space after financial crisis 2008-2009. Russia is extremely interested in integrating into these initiatives, but faces a number of difficulties. Some of them are connected with the peculiarities of regulation of transport issues within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.The article analyzes Russia’s current infrastructure development dialogue with the APR states, including the initiative of coordination of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt. The authors examine main Eurasian infrastructure projects interesting for complex EEU infrastructure development as well as the main challenges and opportunities for Russia arising in the framework of the interaction of the EEU and the APR countries in the field of infrastructure.The authors conclude that integration of Russia into Eurasian transport and logistics initiatives requires the coordination of the transport agenda with trade and investment regulation. This coordination suggests close cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Commission, and in the long term –even the transfer of competencies related to the development of the EAEU infrastructure agenda to the supranational level.The article was prepared using a grant (No. 17-18-01577) from the Russian Science Foundation, “The Formation of a Community of Greater Eurasia and the Strategy of Bilateral Cooperation Between Russia and Countries of the Region.” Sino-Russian Cooperation with Central Asian States in “One Belt-One Road Format” as SCO Development Factor China and Russia issued a joint statement on 8 May 2015 outlining the main approaches to linking the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) projects. The parties believe that to build the One Belt One Road project, it is necessary to: use economic integration laws and actively enhance the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in stimulating regional economic cooperation; to promote construction of the SREB and linkage to and cooperation with the EAEU; to create a free trade area (FTA) in the Asia-Pacific region (APR) and simultaneously begin creating a similar FTA between China, Russia and Central Asia to gradually stimulate interstate trade and promote regional economic development; actively develop — along with an improved model of energy cooperation — infrastructure and related industry; and strengthen business contacts and jointly promote construction of the SREB. The Central Asian Track of the One Belt One Road Initiative: Opportunities and Risks With the exception of Turkmenistan, Central Asian countries have consistently viewed foreign policy as a multivector activity since their independence more than 25 years ago. In the past, this strategy has shown its effectiveness and irreplaceability. Striving to maintain a delicate balance between the interests of global and regional empires, Kazakhstan and other countries in the region continue to pursue a multivector policy today. However, this task becomes more complicated year by year as competition between regional actors gathers pace. In that respect, the emergence and implementation of the Chinese One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, which objectively increases the dependence of countries in the region on China, plays a special role.This article reviews the emergence and implementation of China’s OBOR initiative in Central Asia. The authors set forth Beijing’s foreign policy strategy with respect to the initiative in terms of its main components in Central Asia.The cooperation of Kazakhstan and China is separately considered within the framework of the concept of linking the “Nurly Jol” state programme of infrastructural development for 2015–2019 and OBOR. Given the long-term nature of this project, forecasts are provided for the interaction of the Central Asian states with PRC within the framework of the Chinese initiative.Additional issues relating to the coexistence of several projects in the Eurasian space, in which Kazakhstan and other countries of the region participate, are also considered. In particular, the authors analyze the role and place given by Chinese authorities to Russia within the OBOR strategy. Despite the official statements of the authorities or established plans (Beijing-Moscow high-speed railway, highway, etc.), China generally assigns an insignificant place to Russia in its strategy. Moreover, by offering road construction projects to Moscow, Beijing apparently expects to divert Russia’s attention from its own plans in Central Asia. Against this background, there is a clear response from Moscow which is most evident in Russia’s desire to actively promote the Greater Eurasian Partnership project.