The Eurasian Union

Discussion in 'The Near Abroad' started by Nikita, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Nikita

    Nikita Office Registrar (13th class)

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    I wanted to ask people's opinions on various countries in the post-Soviet space, and the likelihood they would join the EAU.

    So far, we know the following:

    1) Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia - founding members, will definitely be a part of EAU.

    2) Baltic States - never in a million years.

    3) Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan - they said they would join, and they likely will. Kyrgyzstan will join before Tajikistan due to its geographical proximity.

    Now there are some countries that I am more curious about.

    1) Ukraine - Ukraine said they would join as an observer. Does anyone think there is a serious chance for Ukraine to become more than an observer, or is this final? I understand the Russian government is not too happy with this decision. If Ukraine I personally think it would be likely that Moldova joins as well.

    2) Georgia - in my opinion it will not join unless it undertakes serious political change. Armenia probably would, but due to a lack of common borders with any EAU member, it probably will not, unless Georgia joins. I am not sure about Azerbaijan.

    3) Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan would require serious political change before joining. The current leadership, especially in Turkmenistan, is trying to distance itself from Russia to maintain a greater degree of sovereignty.

    I am curious to hear what people think, especially about Georgia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
  2. AKarlin

    AKarlin Generalissimo Staff Member

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    I pretty much agree with this analysis, Nikita.

    Ukraine is of course the most crucial node. With Ukraine, it's a true Eurasian Union; without it, just Russia and a cluster of semi-satellite nations.

    As I see it, Ukraine is trying to have its cake and eat it too by saying soothing words to Russia while very actively angling for European integration. However, the Europeans - that is, "old Europe" - aren't too keen on Ukraine, and are using the Tymoshenko issue to fob them off.

    I have no idea how this is ultimately going to end. Things are probably going to come to a head sooner rather than later, sometime between the Eastern Partnership summit this November and the Presidential elections of March 2015. On the whole, the Ukrainian elites are orientated towards Europe, while the Ukrainian population is about evenly split between Europe and Eurasia. Getting an association agreement will be considered a success. However, if it fails, Yanukovych might want to rally his base for the forthcoming elections; if the economy remains weak then a decisive tilt towards Eurasia will become a cheap and effective way to get some votes.

    I agree that Georgia isn't getting in. Ivanishvili is not pro-Russian by any stretch; some people (neocons) just say he is because his predecessor was a crazy Russophobe. Nor is Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan as things currently stand. No great less - they would all (with the possible exception of newly oil-rich Azerbaijan) be net drains anyway, and besides - as recent events have shown - Russians are beginning to tire of mass immigration from the Near Abroad.

    Kyrgyzstan is more developed than Tajikistan, and has a much bigger Russian minority. I likewise agree that in any "queue" it would be well in front of Tajikistan.
  3. gbordakov

    gbordakov Office Registrar (13th class)

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    As for Ukraine it really depends on what EU and EAU would be willing to offer their elites. 450 years ago Warsaw was very reluctant to grant nobility to Cossack elders while Moscow just did it.
  4. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    The only way I seem able to reply to the threads is by editing a blank reply.

    The EEU adopted the English version of the core EU documentation in its entirety. The EEU's main task is harmonization with the EU. The EEU is a strategy to enhance Russia's bargaining position when it joins the EU. Joining as the EEU will not be subject to the EU's default terms for a single country (Euro when qualified, VAT contribution, etc). This more independent pose will appease nationalists and allow genuine, UK and Scandinavian style opt outs. Right now, Russia has to conform to most EU regulations anyway one way or another. Norway, with the fig leaf of EFTA, at least gets observer status at the EU. They can voice their opinion. Russia has to take whatever result occurs without any say.

    Georgia and the Ukraine will go for real EU membership if they have the opportunity. Armenia will follow Georgia. Moldova will join if it ever gets the chance. Russia needs the EU because Russia has some manufacturing capability and the EU gives it markets. There's obviously no rush. Kazakhstan has oil and a spaceport run by Russia. The roads are not good enough to send quality vegetables from the Fergana valley to Dusseldorf but the EU might offer to build a road - airships were considered to give Greece market access. The Via Ignatia (Egnatia Odoz) the Roman road between Rome and Constantinople was resurfaced instead as it also connected Turkey.
  5. Nikita

    Nikita Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Well here are the reasons why I personally think Ukraine will not join the EU:

    1) The EU had a massive hassle incorporating Romania and Bulgaria into the EU back in the late 2000's when their economy was stronger. Not only is Ukraine more divided, poorer and more corrupt than Romania and Bulgaria, but it is also roughly twice the size of those two countries combined. On top of that, the EU is going through and economic and political crisis. I simply do not think the EU has the political willingness or economic capacity to induct Ukraine as a new member.

    2) Ukraine is too economically dependent on Russia. Much of its trade and investments come from Russia, not to mention the largest share of Ukrainian guest workers live in Russia. Additionally Ukraine has much stronger and more significant cultural and social ties with Russia.

    3) Russia has a lot of political will to bring Ukraine and keep it in its sphere of influence. I think Russia would be able to exercise that political will effectively enough to lure Ukraine into an economic union.

    Georgia seems like a much more likely candidate for EU membership than Ukraine. However, I think because of georgraphy and, again, economically, culturally and socially Russia is much closer to Georgia than the EU is. For that reason I think Georgia will more likely join in an economic union with Russia than the EU.

    As far as Russia itself entering a free trade agreement with the EU. I do not think that will happen in a long time. I see it as one of those things that will remain a work in progress for years to come.
  6. royotoyo

    royotoyo Collegiate Registrar (14th class)

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    I think the future of the Eurasian Union is a question of political will and, as such, depends more on Russia's internal politics than developments in current and potential member states. As M. Khazin points out, there is a concerted effort by many members of the government to sabotage the project every step of the way. Glazev, the project's author, is constantly under attack and was demoted after the Eurasian Union's formation in favor of the useless underachiever Khristenko. We'll see, of course, but things aren't looking bright for any positive developments in the near future.
  7. Patrick Armstrong

    Patrick Armstrong Commissar

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    What are the chances of there being an EU we know it today) in 5 years?
    The EEC made sense, the EU hasn't so much.
  8. Nikita

    Nikita Office Registrar (13th class)

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    The president of Ukraine said he was "convinced his country would sign a free trade agreement with the European Union." How serious do you guys think this is? Does it mean that Ukraine will not enter the Eurasian Union as anything more than an observer? Putin promised a serious action if Ukraine would go ahead with its free trade agreement with the EU, what can Russia realistically do if Ukraine does in fact sign the free trade agreement?

    In my opinion it would be a terrible idea for the Ukrainian economy. I think that in the short to medium term, further integration the former Soviet bloc would make the most sense. Maybe in the long run the European Union would pay off.

    http://en.rian.ru/world/20130829/183049940.html
  9. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    Somebody once commented on my blog - I believe it was during a discussion on the Greek crisis - that the EU was never an economic union so much as it was a political one, and the ECB concept seems to bear that out. But even the political fractures are beginning to yawn wide, and I'd submit the chances of the EU ever collaborating on anything big again are slim. France is a disaster, with Hollande desperately seeking a distraction from his dismal leadership, while Germany seems to be reassessing its entire relationship with the rest of the EU after bailing it out over and over.

    The Eurasian Union is having a hard time getting off the ground, although it would pick up momentum if Ukraine came aboard. However, Yanukovich seems aware of his importance and is using it to play coy. I don't think it would stack up to much without Ukraine, although they would be a tremendous financial liability in the beginning at least. Probably the EU is well aware of that as well.
  10. Nikita

    Nikita Office Registrar (13th class)

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    I don't think that the EU is a political union. It was born from the coal and steel union in the 50's, which was entirely economic in nature. Also many of the meaningful changes that the EU brought to people's lives were economic in nature. There has in fact been little political and social integration (mostly in the form of emigration from Southern and Eastern European countries into Western ones). That is actually a big reason why many socialist organizations do not like it.

    And you are right. Yanukovich knows the importance of his position, and he is playing it, but in my opinion, this is a stance Ukraine has been similar for years, but it has not yielded anything positive for the country. He just needs to pick a side and pursue it entirely.
  11. MarkPavelovich

    MarkPavelovich Commissar

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    Whoever inherits Ukraine (whether it be the EU or the EAU) is going to have to spend some serious money on it right off the bat, because its debt load is huge while most of the IMF money was wasted on broad, winding boulevards and gas stations every couple of kilometers. But if it went to a vote, Ukrainians would be wise to look hard at which potential sugar daddy actually made populist reforms and gave working people a living wage and regularly upgraded it - Russia, or the EU? Which would be less welcoming to a flood of poor Ukrainians looking for work outside their own borders - Russia, or the EU? Which would be less likely to greet the inflow of Ukrainian market goods, including agricultural products, with price controls born of national subsidies and costly inspections - Russia, or the EU?
  12. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    Even the US is trying to join the EU these days with the proposal for a Transatlantic free trade area.
  13. José Moreira

    José Moreira High Commissar Staff Member

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    And it was Armenia the next to join:

    http://www.euronews.com/2013/09/04/armenia-set-to-join-russia-led-customs-union-in-blow-to-eu/

    A quote from The Annals of Butthurt:

    And a very interesting quote in the article below:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-040913.html

    A map, because we all love maps:
    Russian-Union_0_0.jpg
  14. Philip Owen

    Philip Owen Office Registrar (13th class)

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    The map omits New Zealand.
  15. Morgoth

    Morgoth Office Registrar (13th class)

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    It seems that the Eurasian Union is on track to begin functioning by the beginning of 2015 and that the necessary bills will be passed through the parliaments of the involved nations by May of this year.

    http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6442
  16. Morgoth

    Morgoth Office Registrar (13th class)

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    The Eurasian Economic Treaty has just been signed, it will create a common market with some 170 million people and an economy in PPP terms of around $4 trillion. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan look set to join later this year. This in my opinion is one of the most significant geopolitical shifts in the former soviet space in decades, perhaps since the collapse of the USSR itself.

    http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/22399

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