© Witold Krassowski/Panos Pictures


For most countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, everything changed in the early 1990s – political systems, economic systems, and state borders. Borders can be seen as symbols, reflections, and causes of the region’s development problems. But they can also serve as avenues for economic, political and social integration. This installment of ‘Development and Transition’ focuses on borders and the spatial aspects of development.


The movement of goods across the inner borders of the EurasEC countries requires no customs clearance or declarations. ©Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan

What does the EurasEC customs union give us?

What benefits does the customs union of Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia bring for Kazakhstan’s foreign trade?

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A boy injured by a hand grenade sits on the front porch of his home in Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. © UN Photo/Armineh Johannes

Losing the peace: The Armenian-Azerbaijani stalemate in Nagorno-Karabakh

Observers warn that the military stalemate between Armenia and Azerbaijan might degenerate into crisis or even renewed war. What leads them to such conclusions?

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Border management is not only about security but also about freer trade and transit. © OSCE

Border management, the EU, and UNDP

The EU wishes to export its ‘soft power’ via border management programmes—including those implemented by UNDP in Europe and Central Asia. But what exactly does this entail?

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Border guards stamping documents in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. © BOMCA

EU-UNDP Border Management Programming in Europe and Central Asia

In the past decade, together with partners, UNDP has implemented more than € 140 million in border management projects in Europe and Central Asia. What are some of the projects?

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© Chris Loades/Fauna & Flora International

Borders, security and instability in the Fergana Valley

Despite the creation of strict border regimes, borders in Central Asia’s Fergana Valley remain portals for narcotics smugglers. Does strengthening borders really help?

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