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Three CIS Countries Establish Eurasian Economic Union

May 29, 2014 (EIRNS)—Russia, Kazakstan, and Belarus signed today in Astana, Kazakstan a treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), effective Jan. 1, 2015. The Eurasian Economic Union, a proposal put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin, will encompass 170 million people in a common trade area. It also gives the lie to any “isolation” of Russia as a result of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and E.U. on Russia. Armenia indicated that it will join the Union by June 15th of this year and Kyrgyzstan has said it would join by the end of the year.

The formation of the EEU is the next step in a long-term plan which has been developed over decades by a grouping within the Russian intelligentsia, some of whom have worked closely with the LaRouche international movement. In his annual message to the Federal Assembly on Dec. 12, 2013, President Putin described the orientation as follows:

“I am certain that Russia’s pivot toward the Pacific Ocean and the dynamic growth of all of our eastern territories will not only open up new economic possibilities for us, new horizons, but will provide additional instruments for conducting an active foreign policy.”

The EEU represents “a powerful attractive center of economic development,” Putin said, “it’s a large regional market that unites more than 170 million people—one-fifth of the world’s gas reserves and almost 15 percent of the world’s oil reserves.” Kazakstan leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, said that the treaty represented “a balanced document that will take into account the interests of all our countries.” Nazarbayev also said that the treaty will also avoid the mistakes of the EU, making sure that none of the parties of the Union will be forced to “de-industrialize.” Kazakstan has been adamant that the treaty should be limited to economic relations. In addition, the Union is pledged not to violate the sovereignty of participant nations.

Yuri Ushakov, President Putin’s national security adviser, said that the treaty consists of two parts. The first outlines the goals and objectives of the Eurasian integration and establishes the status of the EEU as a full-fledged international organization. The second part is functional in that it regulates the mechanisms of economic cooperation.

The Union has plans for expansion in the near term. Armenia is expected to join June, and Kyrgyzstan soon after. In addition, according to President Putin’s press statement after the meeting, the Union is in further negotiations:

"with Vietnam on creating a free trade zone, to strengthen cooperation with the People’s Republic of China, specifically in the exchange of customs information on goods and services, and to form expert groups that would work out preferential trade regimes with Israel and India."