Eurasian Economic Union to become a bridge between Europe and Pacific Rim
On May 29, 2014 Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement concerning the Eurasian Economic Union, which will come into force on January 1, 2015. On May 30, 2014 during the Council of CIS Prime Ministers issues of economic cooperation were discussed. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have already voiced their willingness to join the organization in the coming months. The chairman of the State Duma's Committee for CIS Affairs, Leonid Slutsky comments on the main aspects of EaEU expansion.
He considers Eurasian Economic Union “some kind of a bridge connecting Europe, which has been in a state of recession for the last seven years, and the rapidly developing Asian-Pacific region. The Eurasian Economic Union is the highest stage of the integration of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, a natural continuation of the Customs Union, the Common Economic Space. In other words, it is a free market system. This project was launched on January 1st, 2012.”
He noted that the integration between the economies of Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan was complicated: “ Of course the integration of three developed economies is a serious challenge. It was impossible to implement this project without any problems. This work is going to be continued. The Eurasian Economic Commission is going to continue its operation. Therefore it is absolutely natural that there are some complicated issues concerning Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joining the organization: For instance, it is not clear what Kyrgyzstan will do with street markets in Bishkek, how it will prevent fake products from China from entering the joint market. Kazakhstan has posed a question about Karabakh. Its status is ambiguous from the point of view of international law. I believe this issue can be resolved.”
He emphasized: “The Eurasian Union is a great problem for those who dream about a unipolar world. Unlike the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS, which have not been fully institutionalized yet, the Eurasian Economic Union has a clear agenda and is going to strengthen as the major integration project in the region. The EU-sponsored Eastern Partnership has been established in order to prevent Eurasian integration. The Eastern Partnership has not been supported by Azerbaijan, but it has been welcomed by Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and even Armenia. The establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union is a very important event and those who believe in a unipolar world vehemently oppose this initiative.”