Alexander Gusev: "The CIS is gradually transforming into the Eurasian Union"

Darya Melikhova, exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza

 

"The Kremlin’s ambitions for the creation and successful existence of the Eurasian Union are doomed to fail sooner or later, due to the political attitude of the Russian government, a lack of resources, as well as internal social and economic problems in Russia”, said Zbigniew Brzezinski, ex-United States National  Security Advisor to the President, a few days ago.

In Russia his opinion met strong disagreement. Alexander Gusev, Head of the Center of Strategic Development of the CIS Countries under the RAS Institute of Europe, has told Vestnik Kavkaza about the chances of the Eurasian Union becoming a full-scale organization.

 

 

 


 

- By April, a draft of the Agreement on the Eurasian Ecoonmic Community is planned to be prepared. Is it about economic union?


- It’s premature to talk about the Eurasian Union, for on January 1, 2015 we will sign an agreement on the Eurasian Economic Community, which will be a step towards the creation of a full-scale Eurasian Union. This process will take quite a long time. Originally, if we talk about the historical concept of the Eurasian Union, it was proposed back in the middle of 1990s by Nursultan Nazarbaev, President of Kazakhstan, but up to now, the Eurasian Union doesn’t exist the way we would like to see it. In my opinion, the CIS, that is already 22 years old, will gradually transform into the Eurasian Union.

 

There have been two approaches: political and economical, and as a result of negotiations and agreements between the authorities of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the countries' leaders came to the conclusion that, first of all, an economic community should be created. Later on, it will grow into a political union to become a full-scale Eurasian Union.

 

We consider the Customs Union to be our second platform on the way to the Eurasian Union, for Armenia is joining it, and maybe, Ukraine as well. The second platform will gradually transform to a third one, referred to as the Eurasian Economic Community, and finally, the fourth platform is the Eurasian Union. What I’m talking about is a gradual movement from economics towards politics, and forming a serious global player. The Eurasian Union, just like the European Union, is to unite over 250 million people from different countries.

 

What was the Commonwealth created for? The goal was to unite us. Our country split up in the 1990s, in 1991 we lost the Soviet Union, but we can’t survive separated, it’s impossible. We will be sunk, if you allow me to say that. So the only way to obtain any efficient results is to unite and integrate. There was a reason Hillary Clinton, before retiring from the position of  Secretary of State, declared on December 21, 2012, that there is no way that the US will let Russia create such a union in the post-Soviet area. The US is one of the most important global players, just like China or the European Union. So we have no other choice: if we don’t unite, we will be taken apart. So in this respect, I consider the Eurasian Union to be the most important and promising platform for further civilization development of the union that is currently referred to as the Commonwealth of Independent States.

 

 - In your opinion, is it possible that Georgia will one day join the Eurasian integration?

 

We know the processes that are taking place in the Caucasus region, in Georgia – the political vector is changing, and we can feel it in Russia. Ukraine also declared it would do its best to have Georgia return to the CIS. Mr Lukashenko, President of Belarus, also spoke about that. Two years ago, when Mikhail Saakashvili was the Georgian President, he said he would persuade Georgia to join the CIS. But persuading is not everything, the country's leader must be willing to do it.

 

- What will happen to the CIS after the Eurasian Union is formed?

 

What was the Commonwealth created for? The goal was to unite us. Our country split up in the 1990s, in 1991 we lost the Soviet Union, but we can’t survive separated, it’s impossible. We will be sunk, if you allow me to say that. So the only way to obtain any efficient results is to unite and integrate. There was a reason Hillary Clinton, before retiring from the position of  Secretary of State, declared on December 21, 2012, that there is no way that the US will let Russia create such a union in the post-Soviet area. The US is one of the most important global players, just like China or the European Union. So we have no other choice: if we don’t unite, we will be taken apart. So in this respect, I consider the Eurasian Union to be the most important and promising platform for further civilization development of the union that is currently referred to as the Commonwealth of Independent States.

 

 

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