EEU is a young integration association, that was formed to help participating countries unlock their economic potential, boost economic ties within the region, and create conditions for improving the countries’ global competitiveness.
The mistakes in Russia’s policy in Ukraine did not allow it to make use of its huge “historical advantage” over the West; namely, fraternal bonds with the majority of the Ukrainian population. A situation similar to that in Ukraine may occur in other post-Soviet countries with which Russia is now trying to build integration associations.
At the summit in Ufa, Russia should give the green light to the establishment of an SCO Development Bank where China takes dominant positions in the authorized capital and management bodies. In exchange, Moscow could coordinate investment principles on terms that would be most favorable to itself and its partners.
Russia proposes an integration project that envisages the strengthening of external economic borders to stimulate re-industrialization. Central Asian states are interested in the Customs Union and Common Economic Space, but they do not want to impose tighter control on their external economic borders.
Skepticism is normal in any project development and it will naturally continue to accompany the Eurasian integration project. Regular monitoring of public opinion will help uncover sore points. To curb skepticism, systemic preventive measures are needed, such as an earnest and well-balanced dialogue with the public and business community.
The Russian president’s proposal to establish a free trade zone between the EU, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus – made at the recent EU-Russia summit – signals a major shift in Russian foreign policy.
The European bureaucracy, a new political force with interests and leverage of its own, is behind the emerging EU trend to politicize the ongoing integration. A constructive way out of the growing contradictions between the alternative integration processes in Eurasia would be to de-politicize them into mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
The West has made “partnerships” with other post-Soviet countries such as Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but none of them can be considered true democracies.
However, Ukraine only maintained its special relationship with Moscow because Russia allowed it. It was very difficult for Moscow to admit that Ukraine, which no one had ever considered separately from Russia, had become a foreign state.
Ukraine will experiment on itself and all the other countries in the post-Soviet space are looking forward to watching how it ends. Whether the ensuing economic or institutional changes over rapprochement with the EU appear tangible and positive will determine Russia’s own conduct and the conduct of countries that still rely on it.
A majority of Russians do not welcome rapprochement with Central Asian states and strongly object to having equal employment rights with citizens of those countries. Any moves which might lead to a real increase in the number of migrants in Russia will further plunge the authorities’ popularity ratings.
It has been a long time since Ukraine received as much attention as it has in recent weeks.
Given decades of East-West encounters, the latest EU-Russia diplomatic row is “just another classic.” Nearing November’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, it will be the match to watch. Question: what happens in December?
Russian-Ukrainian relations are again at the center of attention. Attempts to improve cooperation have quickly ground to a halt.
The Russian geopolitical code is shifting from Western-centric to non-Western-centric, and from global to regional. The formation of a new center of power around Russia may not be smooth. It will inevitably face resistance from countries which Moscow considers to be part of its geopolitical space.
Astana recently hosted a Customs Union summit. The integration project is taking shape on the fly, so each summit evokes a great deal of interest.
In the medium term, the Common Economic Space will face the dilemma of either “enlargement” or “intensification,” which is well known to Europeans. One of the main reasons behind the Customs Union’s success is that it has focused on a clear and rather narrow objective.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
Contemporary international relations are experiencing a period of turbulence and transition from a unipolar world to a world with multiple centers of power with strengthened role of regionalization. In these circumstances relatively small states try to maximize the resource of geopolitical identity to conduct their foreign policies.
In the old days coal miners took a caged canary down into mines. If the canary suddenly dropped dead, that meant that the deadly gas, carbon monoxide, was slowly seeping into the shaft... An order of magnitude increase in killing rampages in America over the last several decades is like canaries suddenly starting to drop dead all around us. It is an early indicator of much worse troubles to come.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.