As the kick-off to his presidential campaign, newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin published an article calling for a Eurasian Union among the states of the former Soviet Union. Using this as a jumping off point, this article evaluates the several overlapping organizations promoted by Moscow to bring the ex-Soviet republics closer together. It looks specifically at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Community, and finally the hopes for a Eurasian Union. The article analyzes the multipronged approach, combining military cooperation through the CSTO and the hoped-for Customs Union and broader Eurasian Union. Using energy politics as a case study to explore the extent and limitations of Russia’s influence over the policies of the other states, the article illustrates how resources and domestic politics create either strengths or vulnerabilities for them. Finally, the author argues that despite Moscow’s wishes, each of the states is more or less able to defend its sovereignty and independence, thus limiting Russia’s sway over the territory of the “former Soviet space.”

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