In his recent article, Soderlund [Soderlund, P.J., 2003. The significance of structural power resources in the Russian bi-lateral treaty process 1994–1998. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 36, 311–324] tests structural factors that influence the order in which the Russian regions gained a bi-lateral agreement with the federal centre, emphasizing the importance of ethnicity, religion and economy. We replicate his results, and provide an extension where we argue instead that the only significant determinants of the bi-lateral process have been economic issues. Our results are substantiated by an improved methodology that addresses several debatable choices made by the author in the original article.