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Transformation of the Geo-strategic Role of Eurasia in the Post-Unipolar World

Student: Anastasia Trofimova

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

This scientific paper targets to study the recent phenomenon of Eurasian continental integration and analyse the potential scenarios of its formation. In 2016 the Russian government put forward the "Greater Eurasia" as a widening strategic partnership of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with China and its Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan, Iran, India, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and other international organizations of the Eurasian continent, aiming to develop transregional infrastructure and trade. One of the challenges is to properly define the borders of the Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) or at least name the countries that will be included. After considering this point, the paper focuses on studying the trade war between China and the US, the foreign policy of the newly elected American President, and historical disputes on the future of Eurasian continental integration. As this mainland includes the largest proportion of the world's population, the most promising Asian economies, and great nuclear powers, it has excellent chances of altering the global balance of power. Nevertheless, to critically assess the economic trade patterns and validity of such cooperation, this paper incorporates the analysis of the trade changes within the block and outside of it to compare the overall direction. The suggestion is that due to strained relations between the US and China, the latter would opt for redirecting its enormous economic potential to neighbouring countries and projects within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Due to the EAEU strategic location, Russia and other countries would agree to cooperate because of a partnership's undeniable benefits and strained relations with the West. As an additional part, this paper incorporates the analysis of the COVID-19 consequences for the Eurasian integration, including China's financial problems to sustain the previous levels of aid to BRI countries.

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