Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union gets ready to take on the world

Satu Insan - Malaysia

The Guardian

Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus at heart of post-Soviet trading bloc 
that aspires to commerce but not community

eeu

Leaders of former Soviet states gather for a regional summit in Minsk, Belarus. Photograph: Sasha Mordovets/Getty

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Until the last moment Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, held out for 7 October, to coincide with Vladimir Putin’s birthday. But in the end the parliament in Minsk ratified the treaty on Eurasian Economic Union on 9 October, the day before its first three members – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – were due to meet.

It would be simplistic to reduce the nascent EEU to a toy in the hands of the Russian president. When it comes into force, on 1 January 2015, it will be the most advanced organisation for regional cooperation the former Soviet bloc has seen, an achievement preceded by many false starts.

In fact, the EEU already exists. It…

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