This paper analyzes some of the potential economic effects of free trade agreements between the EU and Russia and the other European CIS countries using standard indicators of trade patterns. It confirms that it would not be feasible for the EU to conclude such an agreement with Russia alone. It is also shown that, if the current high tariff levels are maintained in the CIS countries, they may not benefit from an agreement with the EU. More generally, the authors question the economic motivation for countries such as Russia in seeking free trade agreements with industrial countries which already have low levels of external protection
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