Canada's Hub for International Affairs

Russia’s Sphere of Influence

| March 6, 2014

One of the initial sources of tension between Ukraine and Russia is economic – whether Ukraine should pursue economic ties with the West or strengthen ties to Russia. In the graphic below, we chart the growth of the former Soviet economies to get a better sense of the economic balance of power in the region.


  • ProgressivePress

    How do these growth rates compare to the EU? They look quite strong, while GNP growth in the EU has been very anemic for years, compared to these rates. EU membership might be a misplaced hope for Ukraine. It seems that many Eastern European countries that joined were disappointed.

    • Alf

      The graphic is catchy and the numbers are correct but it’s not usefully informative, at least not if you try to compare it with growth in developed economies like the EU.
      Please remember:
      It’s much much easier to achieve growth from a small base (note that the best rates are tiny Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia)
      Most of this growth is very volatile because it’s natural-resource extraction (eg. oil & gas) reflecting early-phase one-sided economies while the EU (except in the struggling South) manufactures goods, sells knowledge, and design.
      So it would be more telling to compare per capita incomes in the FSU and the EU, especially on a purchasing-power adjusted basis. And because incomes are more adequate, there is the strong appeal to those of us from Iron-Curtain countries is the transparency, opportunity to participate in government, personal safety from arbitrary arrest, that is commonplace in the EU and North America.

    • Chris Doyle

      Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have been in the EU for some time now and give a reasonable guide to EU growth (they were already part of the EU during the especially rapid growth phase of 2005-2009) …

  • Бильба Сумкин

    главное стабильность…


    Excellent chart. Thank you.