Евразийский Союз (Russian)
|-||Eurasian Commissioners||Viktor Khristenko a|
|-||Establishment agreed||18 November 2011|
|-||Eurasian Economic Space (active)||1 January 2012|
|-||Eurasian Union (planned)||2015|
7,725,077 sq mi
|Time zone||(UTC+3 to +12)|
|b.||By Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.|
The Eurasian Union (EAU; i//) is a proposed political and economic union of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and other countries, in particular the post-Soviet states.
The idea, based on the European Union's integration, was brought to attention in October 2011 by the then-Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, but was first proposed as a concept by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, during a 1994 speech at a Moscow university. On 18 November 2011, the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement, setting a target of establishing the Eurasian Union by 2015. The agreement included the roadmap for the future integration and established the Eurasian Commission (modelled on the European Commission) and the Eurasian Economic Space, which started work on 1 January 2012.
The Eurasian Union is said to be the brainchild of Vladimir Putin in the wake of his third term as the President of Russia. If realised, it would comprise a number of states which were part of the former Soviet Union: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. At a November 2011 round table in Moscow organised by the ruling United Russia party, Russian political scientist Dmitry Orlov stated that apart from post-Soviet states, membership to the Eurasian Union could be expanded to include other countries that have been historically or culturally close, such as Finland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cuba and Venezuela, incorporating them into a common state body where Russian would be the common language of communication and economic cooperation. Vladimir Putin stated in November 2011 that the Eurasian Union would build upon the "best values of the Soviet Union"; however, critics claimed that the drive towards integration aims to restore the "Soviet Empire".
According to The New York Times, several candidates in Kyrgyzstan's 2011 presidential election have endorsed the concept. In November 2011 Tajikistan's government said they were considering membership.
Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said in September 2013 he was studying the possibility of acceding the Union, although he later clarified that Georgia's main strategy was still to integrate into the European Union. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev included Georgia as a prospective member in statements made in August 2013.
In September 2013, Armenia announced its decision to join the Eurasian Union. President Serj Sargsyan of Armenia announced the decision after talks with his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin welcomed the move as a diplomatic victory at a time when Russia is struggling to bring former Soviet republics closer together and stop Ukraine from slipping into the European Union's orbit. Russia is Armenia's largest trading partner, and bilateral trade grew 22% to $1.2 billion (€910 million) last year. Russia is also the biggest foreign investor in the small Eurasian economy, with a total of $3 billion (€2.27 billion) investments last year in a country whose GDP amounted to $9.9 billion (€7.5 billion) in 2012, according to the World Bank.
Existing integration projects
The Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia has already brought partial economic integration between the three states, and the Eurasian Union is said to be a continuation of this customs union. A number of other regional organisations also provide the basis for further integration: the Union State of Russia and Belarus, the Eurasian Economic Community of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, consisting of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, and the Commonwealth of Independent States comprising most of the post-Soviet countries.
The agreement signed by presidents Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus established the Eurasian Commission, the supranational governing body of the Eurasian Economic Space, which started work on 1 January 2012. The Commission is modeled on the European Commission. The headquarters of the commission will be in Moscow, and the expenses of the infrastructure and accommodation of commission workers will be financed by Russia, while in general the commission budget will be financed by all three countries and dependent on taxation shares received from the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
The commission will be headed by the Council, composed of three Vice Premiers from the Government of Belarus, the Government of Kazakhstan and the Government of Russia, and each country will provide three more representatives who will carry out the operational management and oversee the everyday work of the organisation. All these top members will receive the status of federal ministers in their respective countries. The commission will consist of a number of departments, and its lower rank staff will be composed of 84% Russian officials, 10% Kazakhs, and 6% Belarusians, proportional to the populations of the member states. A Russian candidate for the place in the commission's Council is Viktor Khristenko, the Minister of Industry and Trade (Khristenko will need to be made Vice Prime Minister in order to take the post). Kazakhstani and Belarusian candidates remain unknown.
The Eurasian Commission will be eligible to make decisions not only with regard to customs policies, but in such areas as macroeconomics, regulation of economic competition, energy policy, and financial policy. The Commission will also be involved in government procurement and labour migration control. The agreement on the Commission contains stringent anti-corruption regulations. President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia stated that both the positive and negative experiences of the European Union will be taken into account and argued that the Eurasian Union will avoid the problems of economic gaps and disparity between countries, such as found in the eurozone, since the member countries have a comparable level of economic development, as well as common history and values.
- United States — The United States has expressed its opposition to the Eurasian Union, claiming it is an attempt to re-establish a Russian-dominated USSR-type union amongst the former Soviet republics. In December 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "It’s not going to be called that [USSR]. It’s going to be called customs union, it will be called the Eurasian Union and all of that, but let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it".
- Ukraine cannot get observer status at Eurasian Econ Union due to Association Agreement with EU, Russia, Interfax-Ukraine (14 June 2013)
- "Putin calls for the Eurasian Union". B92. RIA Novosti. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "Putin calls for 'Eurasian Union' of ex-Soviet republics". BBC News. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- Bryanski, Gleb (3 October 2011). "Russia's Putin says wants to build "Eurasian Union"". Yahoo! News. Reuters. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "Новый интеграционный проект для Евразии – будущее, которое рождается сегодня". Izvestia (in Russian). 3 October 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "Kazakhstan welcomes Putin's Eurasian Union concept". The Daily Telegraph. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- "Russia sees union with Belarus and Kazakhstan by 2015". BBC News. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Евразийские комиссары получат статус федеральных министров". Tut.By (in Russian). 17 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Putin's Eurasian push challenges west by Neil Buckley, Financial Times, 6 October 2011.
- "Moscow fleshes out 'Eurasian Union' plans". EurActiv. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Putin, Medvedev praise values of Soviet Union". Reuters. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Schwirtz, Michael (29 October 2011). "Kyrgyzstan Votes for a President, Feeling the Pull of Russia". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Ukraine seeking observer status in Eurasian Economic Union - Yanukovych, Interfax-Ukraine (19 December 2013)
- "Georgian Prime Minister leaves open possibility of joining Eurasian Union". Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. 4 September 2013.
- "Georgian PM commented on his statement on Eurasian Union". Trend News Agency. 6 September 2013.
- "Medvedev wants Georgia to join Eurasian Union". 7 August 2013.
- "Встреча президентов России, Республики Беларусь и Казахстана". kremlin.ru (in Russian). 18 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- "Медведев: Евразийский экономический союз избежит проблем еврозоны". news.mail.ru (in Russian). 18 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
- Failed reset?: United States decries “sovietization” of former USSR states
- "Turkey will get an offer to join Eurasian Union late or early"
- Kazakh leader proposes to take Turkey into customs union
- Syria Plans to Join Customs Union with Russia ‘in Near Future’
- Iran’s Increasing Cooperation On The Eurasian Union
- India, Russia to negotiate on CECA with Customs Union
- Vietnam Considers Joining Customs Union