Delays in the Eurasian Union
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 27Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin has been promoting his Eurasian Union idea for some time. In October, he proposed this union to former Soviet countries, but only our President Mikheil Saakashvili openly criticized the idea. The leaders of other countries did not echo his remarks, but were in no hurry to join in Putin's scheme.
Many may remember that some years ago Putin called the dissolution of the Soviet Union the "biggest catastrophe of the 20th century". This opinion, to say the least, was not shared by all.
But after his “resurrection” as President of Russia, he is trying to similarly resurrect his Eurasian Union idea. According to him, a Eurasian Union would be similar to the European Union, based on a universal integration principle. It will be built on the principles of democracy, freedom, and the market economy. But it is very clear it cannot be similar to the European Union because the EU is an amalgamation of several well-developed and potentially equal countries. Whereas Putin’s idea is a means to unite (once again) a group of dependent satellite states around Russia. This arrangement first occurred during the Russian empire, then the Soviet empire – and now he wants a Putin empire.
The initial agreement on Eurasian economic integration was signed on November 18, 2011 between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Russia wants to accelerate the process, but other countries have been slow to react. Recently, Ukraine declined the invitation, saying it was not "ready". Ukrainian President Viktor Viktor Yanukovych was supported by Russia during his election, and has had kind words for the Union idea, but predicts the country is still five years away from such a step.
That is the most enthusiastic former Soviet countries are about a Eurasian Union. Many have a natural distrust of Russia’s imperialistic nature. Their “Big Brother” syndrome makes neighbouring countries very cautious towards Russia. It's like the old joke: A Russian and an Uzbek found a bottle of water in the desert. The Russian says, "Let us share it like brothers". The Uzbek answers, "No, not like brothers, it is better we share it 50/50".