Résumé : This research explains how does the interaction between foreign and domestic policy domains take place and how it influences domestic political change. For this purpose, the cases of Armenia, Georgia and Moldova are analysed with specific focus on the external influence of Russia and the European Union. Consequently, this study traces the interaction between domestic and international actors at the light of the broader regional context, including the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. The research uses the analytical tool defined by Morlino (2011), with theoretical contributions from social constructivism and historical institutionalism in order to emphasize the need to contextualise the actions, preferences and identities of domestic actors in a broader historical perspective, which acknowledges the relevance of past legacies. Following the analytical tool, suggested by Morlino (2011), the research focuses on institutional reforms in Rule of Law, Inter-Institutional and Electoral Accountability, in addition to Participation and Competition as horizontal dimensions. A combination of process- tracing and network analysis provides insight on the strategies of domestic and international actors intervening in the reform processes.The research argues that the increased competition between the European Union and Russia is used by different domestic elite groups to strengthen their power positions and as an opportunity to diversify the foreign policy relations in the case of relatively small economic partners as Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. Such strategy is pursued through the development of focused relations with each international partner, while avoiding an exclusive geopolitical choice. Therefore, the EU is a preferred partner in democracy support, development of institutional capacities and trade; while Russia’s collaboration is sought in fields as trade, energy, etc). In addition, the EU and Russia have developed more flexible approaches in the relations with their neighbours. The EU seeks a more pragmatic geopolitically-informed approach in addition to its traditional normative role. On the other hand, Russia adopts a mimicking strategy of Western normative policies in support of its identity-based approach towards Russian-speaking communities in addition to its traditional geopolitical use of regional interdependencies for influencing the choices of the its neighbours.