There is no alternative to Eurasian integration for Dushanbe
The press service of IIA Russia Today has held an expert round-table discussion today. It is headlined “Prospects of Rapprochement between Tajikistan and the EAEU.” Participants in the round table noted that within the Eurasian Economic Union, freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and the labor force is provided. The number of Tajik migrants who live on the territory of Russia is reaching 1.1 million people, according to experts. Volumes of money transfer by labor migrants working in Russia reach 50% of the GDP of Tajikistan, according to some data. Joining the EAEU will probably lead to a growth of in the number of Tajik migrants on the Eurasian labor market. At the same time, the migrants will have pension and medical insurance and other social guarantees.
Moreover, joining the EAEU gives an opportunity to 320 thousand Tajik citizens, who are forbidden from entering Russia due to amendments to the Russian Migration Law, to find jobs in Russia again.
Experts warn against thoughtless offers on restriction of access to the Russian market for Tajik migrants. “We cannot shut down labor migration from Tajikistan to Russia, which is relatively controllable and brings revenues. If we separate ourselves from Tajikistan by a wall, everything will be ruined in the country: governmental institutions and the economic system. People will have no food. And this uncontrollable mass of migrants will flood Russia. The chain reaction will go through Central Asia and then reach us,” Andrei Kazantsev, the Director of the MGIMO Analytical Center said.
Experts also underline the opportunities which Eurasian integration opens for Tajikistan’s economy.
According to Dmitry Zhuravlev, the Director of the Institute of Regional Problems, “the U.S. and the West have their own idea of partnership, and Tajikistan won’t feel comfortable with it. China has its own view, and deeply Islamized Tajikistan isn’t needed there. Strategically, we are doomed to a union. Everybody understands that an independent Tajikistan is a treasure, but an economically independent Tajikistan is a dream. First of all, the foundation of the country’s economy is not agriculture, but metallurgy, which demands huge expenditures. The development of Tajikistan’s industry is impossible without Russia’s help. So integration will go through offenses and difficulties, but Tajikistan has no other way.”
Experts concluded that there is no rational alternative to Eurasian integration for Tajikistan. The sooner a political decision on Tajikistan joining the integration process is made, the quicker the implementation of the roadmap on the steady integration of the country into the Eurasian Union will start. Intensification of the process is necessary in the current difficult geopolitical and geoeconomic conditions.