Putin and Nazarbayev confirm adherence to EAEU
In the Kremlin, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev summed up the results of the first year of the Eurasian Economic Union’s work (EAEU); they also discussed several questions on the regional and international agenda, including the situations in Syria and Ukraine. Experts of the IQ-Club, which was presented on December 21st, stated that relations between Moscow and Astana remain at the level of strategic partnership and dynamic development. At the same time, the difficult geopolitical situation and unfavorable political conditions create additional challenges for the two countries, including in the economic and information security spheres.
“Previous agreements between the RF and Kazakhstan enabled our economies to avoid a heavy blow as a result of the international situation,” President of Russia Vladimir Putin stated at the meeting with Nazarbayev. He pointed out that “despite difficulties in the world economy, which influenced the dynamics of the growth in our country, we continued working within the EAEU, including in the spheres of customs regulations, technical and other problems.” “It leads to a positive effect. I’m sure that if we had no agreements which had been reached earlier and which enabled us to work at the moment, the blow to our economies would have been much heavier than it was,” the RF head said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev also pointed out that the first year of the EAEU’s work wasn’t easy and took place in the midst of a crisis: “We knew that there would be losses. Still, I believe that we have made the right choice, and we should move forward. The GDP of all the countries decreased by 30 percent, the trade turnover has reduced, but communication, open borders, joint enterprises played their big role,” the Kazakhstani leader said.
“This is the 14th meeting of the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan, which has confirmed the friendly relations between the leaders of the two countries and the dynamics of development of bilateral contacts between Russia and Kazakhstan,” the Director of the Political Scientific Center ‘North-South’, Yulia Yakusheva, stated. However, it is no secret that the EAEU is developing in difficult geopolitical conditions and it needs expert support. The deepening of interaction between social structures, scientific, expert, and information centers of the two countries is becoming topical. The IQ-Club is becoming such a platform. “The establishment of the structure was initiated not only by central analytical structures, but also by representatives of regions. For example, one of the co-founders of the Club is the Saratov expert platform – the Eurasia-Povolzhye Center under the management of Marina Lapenko. The main partner of Russian experts in Kazakhstan is the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the leader of the nation. First of all, it is a powerful expert and analytical structure which is actively developing contacts with leading expert centers in Russia, Europe, America,” Yulia Yakusheva said.
According to Marina Lapenko, the majority of bilateral trade falls on cross-border cooperation, and regions such as Saratov and Samara are most affected by the intensity of mutual relations in connection with the implementation of the project of the Eurasian Economic Union. “And in this regard, our activities are in high demand. While implementing our activities on the border, we are the first to respond to the existing problems, we can make practical recommendations, and, moreover, we can start to implement some developments,” Lapenko said. She believes that, in this regard, the role of regions in activation of expert cooperation is very important and relevant. “The main function of the IQ-Club is to accumulate expert resources, to intensify the work, and, in general, to bring expert work to qualitatively new level,” Lapenko stressed.
Nurlan Yerimbetov, the President of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan, thinks that the EAEU is loosing the information war. Writer Kirill Privalov quoted words of the Russian President the day before on the TV-show of Vladimir Solovyov, that the West’s reaction to the EAEU showed that the union is viable and moving in the right direction. “The EAEU has only existed for one year. However, it is right to consider Nazarbayev’s speech at MSU in 1994 as the starting point, when the Kazakhstan leader proposed the idea of the Eurasian Union for the first time,” the Russian writer said. He reminded that the European Union, which was founded in the 1950s, required several decades to start working. “Our union is one year old. And the effective work of the EAEU depends on all of us,” Privalov said.
Marina Lapenko thinks that in bilateral relations more attention should be paid to the economic situation in Russia and Kazakhstan, ways out of the crisis, and stabilization of national currencies. “These are important tasks which play a role not only in bilateral cooperation, but also influence the intensity of Eurasian integration. We shouldn’t forget about the geopolitical agenda – Kazakhstan plays the role of a mediator in the settlement of many international problems in which Russia is involved,” the expert said.
Timur Shaymergenov, Deputy Director of the 'Library of the First President of Kazakhstan - Leader of the Nation', thinks that it is necessary to build an effective format within the EAEU. “We have started to work in a new legal format, and today we have a task to regulate technical levels, the legislative aspect of our relations to make them equal and beneficial for all participants. Secondly, incorporation of the EAEU into continental projects is important, including the Economic Belt of the Great Silk Road. This is the new reality. Interrelations between the Eurasian and Chinese projects are the future of our economies. Thirdly, it is about security. Russia and Kazakhstan are a foundation of security in the CIS space. Our relations are a basis for the CSTO, a guarantee of security in the whole of Central Asia,” he said.