Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eurasian Union idea takes shape: What does this mean for the West?

The idea to form the Eurasian Economic Union has taken a specific shape, as prime ministers of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan coordinated a relevant draft declaration. The declaration is expected to be signed by the three sides’ presidents as early as in December this year, Russian PM Vladimir Putin said summing up the results of the two-day meeting with his CIS counterparts in St. Petersburg. The discussion mainly focused on the integration processes across the post-Soviet space.

The degree of integration within the Commonwealth of Independent States becomes clear after a mere look at the meeting’s agenda. The first day witnessed negotiations between CIS heads of government resulting in a historical agreement to create a free trade zone on the territory of the eight countries. The second day saw the dialogue continue in the five-party format of the EuroAsian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Customs Union trio. One of the focal points was the common economic space of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan - the three countries that coordinated a draft declaration on the Eurasian Economic Union.

Ideas of the new integration project were recently outlined by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his interview with the Izvestiya newspaper. “The establishment of a customs union and common economic space lays the foundation for a future Eurasian Economic Union. We suggest creating a powerful supra-national union capable of becoming a pole in the modern world, and at the same time an effective connection between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region,” the article reads. more