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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Eurasian Union

Should the West be afraid of Moscow's plans for a Eurasian Union?
by Vlad Sobell
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Jul 15, 2013

In 2010 a Customs Union comprising Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan was launched as part of a Russia-led project aimed at economic reintegration within the former Soviet space (as Russian President Vladimir Putin explained in an article published in Izvestiya in October 2011).

Evidence gathered during the short period of the Union's existence suggests this project has been a success to date. For example, the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - a multilateral institution whose main function is to lend to the former Communist states - has concluded that its launch has led to a strong increase in mutual trade, thus helping boost economic growth in the member countries.

The drive toward deeper economic integration within the former USSR accelerated in 2012 with the formation of a Single Economic Space (SES), along with a Moscow-based Eurasian Economic Commission. Apart from the gradual reduction of trade barriers, the goal is the full liberalization of intra-SES flows of goods, capital and labor and ultimately the creation of a unified market of nearly 180 million consumers, underpinned by the tried-and-tested principles of liberal economics.

Among other measures, businesses from member countries are to enjoy equal rights within the SES, including in the bidding for government contracts. Russia's ultimate objective is to establish a Eurasian Union (EAU) by 2015. It hopes that more countries from the former Soviet bloc will become interested in joining the group, including the second-most populous former Soviet country - Ukraine...

Sounds like a dream scheme for a  bunch of people that loved NAFTA and the EU.
However, since it involves Russia, most of the power elite in Washington think it is a bad idea.

Essentially, Washington really would like other countries to be economically viable and powerful... but not too powerful. They would like them to be democratic...  but not (like Hamas), too democratic.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, we had an unparalleled chance to welcome Russia as an ally and an important friend.
We did not do so. We pretty much stood by with our hands in our pockets while Russia underwent the throes of creating a new nation.

Then we went on a spree with NATO, expanding the heck out of it, signing on to defend countries in a manner that would have made our Founding Fathers gag, remembering - as they would, being classically trained - the fate of the far-flung Athenian Empire.

I like Russia. If they want a Eurasian Union, so do I.
Personally, I believe good things happen when equals treat each other with respect, and do not attempt to impede each other's pursuit of happiness.

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