The article analyzes the features and main directions of the diversification of trade relations between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the world during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The emergence in 2020 of an existential danger from the spread of coronavirus infection around the world led everywhere to a temporary decline in business activity due to quarantine restrictions. Recently, the integration of these states into the European Union has been gradually losing its former effectiveness and making an ever-smaller contribution to their economic development. The European market, which has become the main one for the CEE countries, demonstrates stagnant trends in the development of their foreign trade relations, slowing down the pace of their economic growth. The crisis inside the European Union can only worsen the current economic recession and make it difficult to get out of it in the coming years. In this regard, the CEE states faced the need to diversify their trade and economic ties in order to find new effective markets for their products. Statistical analysis revealed that the most important areas of diversification of foreign trade flows of the CEE countries are the markets of Asian countries, among which China plays a leading role, as well as Russia and other post-Soviet states. The study of shifts in the geographical structure of foreign trade of the CEE countries during this period allowed us to conclude that, although there was a decline in trade turnover in all directions, it affected relations with China and other Asian countries to the least extent. Trade with them became a kind of anchor of stability amid the storm, which broke out in the global economy, and partially compensated for the reduction of foreign trade flows towards the European Union and in mutual relations.
Central and Eastern Europe; the European Union; foreign trade; diversification of ties.