Leonid Slutsky: EEU may become powerful political player
The Eurasian integration project is very promising and offers its members excellent opportunities for further development, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, Leonid Slutsky, said at a press conference today.
"We are effectively strengthening the cooperation between the parliaments of the EEU member countries. If this alliance will be a key unit in the region, it can be a powerful political player," he noted.
In this regard, the MP noted the need to develop cooperation between the EEU and its eastern partners, including in the framework of the Silk Road project. "The economic belt of the new Silk Road is the logistics and revival of the Silk Road which existed centuries ago. We must understand that the Eurasian project must have a strong eastern direction. We should cooperate with the East, especially with China, and not only in terms of logistics and the labor force," Slutsky stressed.
"We must consider the interests of our Eastern partners, in particular Kazakhstan. The conjugation of the EEU activity with the economic belt of the Silk Road is a fashionable formula now, but we need to understand what it will include. Of course, the conjugation is not profitable for those who are interested in a unipolar world. They want to further isolate Russia," he added.
In his speech, he also spoke about the deterioration of relations between Moscow and Ankara. Leonid Slutsky said that "Turkey should not become an outcast." "Today, we must maintain our partnership," the parliamentarian said.
He cited the cooperation between Moscow and Baku as an example of successful development of bilateral relations. "It is impossible to mess up the Russian- Azerbaijani relations. Azerbaijan has done a lot for the development of its economy, it is a country with a surplus economy. We have an excellent cooperation in many directions," the deputy noted.
"We have achieved a lot during our economic, military, military-technical, cultural and inter-parliamentary cooperation. We congratulate Azerbaijan on the elections of the new parliament and Ogtay Asadov on the reelection as the head of the parliament. I also congratulate Ilham Aliyev, who followed in his great father's footsteps, being a true leader of the Azerbaijani people, on his birthday," the head of the Duma Committee said.
Leonid Slutsky also added that he has a high opinion of the meeting between Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan in Bern, expressing hope that the sides managed to find some approaches to a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, Slutsky welcomed Russia's decision to simplify the visa regime with Georgia. "Russia made the right decision to simplify the visa regime in Georgia. Perhaps this will result in the full restoration of our diplomatic relations. Our countries and the relations between them were fated to be neighborly long before the Treaty of Georgiyevsk. There are over a million Georgians in Russia. We must confront the trend to embroil Russia with its neighbors and partners, which is actively used by our strategic opponents in the West. So we must find a way out of stagnation between Moscow and Tbilisi," he said.
"We need to ensure that people close to each other, relatives, have an opportunity to communicate without visas. I think that this is a very correct move. I think that the passage of the relevant interstate procedures for its implementation will require a minimum of time. Our committee is responsible for the parliamentary relations with Georgia, which are quite active," Leonid Slutsky concluded.