Russia's Eurasian Union: Danger For The USA And The Neighborhood
In the fall of 2011, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Belarus and Kazakhstan to form an alliance - Eurasian Union (EAU). In November of the same year, the three presidents of these countries came up with an agreement to bring the Eurasian Union into action and make it completely operational by 2015.
Stretching from the border with Poland to the Pacific, the new Eurasian Union will be the largest multinational entity. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are going to unite their economies, law systems, and customs services in order to create a stronger Eurasian world player. They are adjusting their militaries through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and Vladimir Putin is pressing for more coordination of their security services. This geopolitical consolidation will most probably affect their neighbors' independence, sovereignty, and political orientation. Such countries as Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Moldova may be considered for the future membership to the Eurasian Union.
A Eurasian Union that evolves into a Russian sphere of influence would adopt a mercantilist view on the world economy. It will most probably monopolize regional security, could menace the stability of the region, and disrupt political and economic freedom in Central Asia. American policy should foresee such efforts and make the case that an open economic environment offers a greater prospect for regional development. Such an approach would serve interests of the USA and create a better environment for a peaceful and prosperous Central Asia. The USA should organize an interagency effort to promote good governance and rule-based market economics as well as to combat efforts to close markets to the West.
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