Eurasian Union is Political Project that may play positive role

Eurasian Union is Political Project that may play positive role

Azerbaijan, Baku, November 14 / Trend, E. Tariverdiyeva /

Establishment of Russia-offered Eurasian Union is undoubtedly a political project; however, it may play a certain positive role for its member states in future, experts believe.

"Establishment of the Eurasian Union is not a restoration of the USSR as Russian political elite has neither funds nor political necessity to restore the empire. But there is the opportunity of increasing either potential or resource base to become more competitive," said Alexei Vlasov, a member of Trend Experts Council and chief editor of analytical news agency Vestnik Kavkaza.

Shapes of the Eurasian Union will emerge right in 2015, Russian First Vice-Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told television channel Russia's broadcast Vesti on November 12.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin disclosed the idea of establishment of the Eurasian Union in one of his articles. The Eurasian Union is an interstate structure with a closer coordination of economic and currency policy, into which the Customs Union - an organization currently uniting three post-Soviet states: Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan - should evolve. The article of Vladimir Putin caused a great response either inside or outside Russia. Many political experts and journalists in the West regard the idea of Eurasian Union as an attempt to restore the Soviet Union.

Vlasov says there is a preparation for a large election cycle in Russia, and the existing Prime Minister should bring a new breakthrough idea to his new presidential term.

"Putin goes to his new presidential term with integration, global idea for post-Soviet countries, a project that will unite and develop successful states," Vlasov said.

Kazakh political expert Andrei Chebotarev says assessment of the Eurasian Union project will become possible only after we see how creation of the Customs Union will result.

The second integration project - common economic space with the participation of three countries - will be launched next year. Kyrgyzstan has already joined the Customs Union; Tajikistan may also join it. We must see how the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space develop and, depending on whether there is success, we should think of a next stage of integration development," Chebotarev, Director of Alternativa, Kazakhstan's Urgent Researches Center, told Trend.

He claims integration-related initiatives are implemented primarily as a political project of Russia designed to strengthen Russia's influence upon countries, which agreed to join it under such initiatives.

Ben Jud, an expert of European Council for International Affairs, says talks in the West about the Eurasian Union are full of skepticism and so are on many other integration projects amongst post-Soviet countries.

"The attempt of unification is made because of the upcoming presidential election. The text of the provisions about free trade zone, which was declared recently, was not, however, submitted to either the European Union or any other key trade partner. So we think there is either no consent at all or a great transitional period will begin. In other words, this does not resemble a free trade zone," Jud told the Moscow-Brussels-London video-bridge recently, Vestnik Kavkaza reported.

London is very much disappointed at the Customs Union and Russia's joining the WTO, the expert said.

"As for Eurasian Union's prospects, this is just a series of rather unclear declarations and articles yet. Even Putin stated himself that 15 years, a big lengthy process, will be needed before we see the Eurasian Union developed.

However, as viewed by Vlasov, implementation of such sort of projects settles important tasks, primarily, for the Russian political elite as it sees a new idea clearly formulated.

"We are becoming a center of unification of countries in economy, security, and culture for those countries which are ready to interact and cooperate with us," he noted.

US expert Ariel Cohen says the Eurasian Union indeed may play an important role if correct approach is chosen.

Rossiyskiye Vesti weekly publicized Cohen's article where the expert says regional countries may try to respond security threats jointly with Russia through having common interests in stabilization of situation and combating drugs trafficking in Central Asia.

Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan are the candidates for membership in the Eurasian Union, Vladimir Putin's project envisioning several integration projects. The most important thing is that enthusiasm of governmental officials on the occasion of the Eurasian Union will not result in creation of new bureaucratic structures doing nothing and responsible for nothing, but exploring budget funds methodically, like it often happens," Ariel Cohen, member of the Trend Experts Council and Leading Expert of the Heritage Foundation responsible for Russia, Eurasia, and international energy policy, writes.

The material is contributed by E. Kosolapova.

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