Putin says wants to build 'Eurasian Union'

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Oct. 4, 2011, 7:19 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

Vladimir Putin said he wants to bring ex-Soviet states into a "Eurasian Union" in an article which outlined his first foreign policy initiative.
© AP

MOSCOW, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he wants to bring ex-Soviet states into a "Eurasian Union" in an article which outlined his first foreign policy initiative as he prepares to return to the Kremlin as the country's next president. Putin said the new union would build on an existing Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan which from next year will remove all barriers to trade, capital and labour movement between the three countries.

"We are not going to stop there and are setting an ambitious goal -- to achieve an even higher integration level in the Eurasian Union," Putin wrote in an article which will be published in Izvestia newspaper on Oct. 4.

Putin said last month he would run in the March 2012 presidential election and his current public approval ratings show that he is set to win.

Putin's initiative comes as Russia nears the end of its 18-year-old negotiations to join the World Trade Organization. In the article Putin made no secret of his scepticism about the global trade watchdog.

"The process of finding new post-crisis global development models is moving forward with difficulty. For example, the Doha round (of international trade talks) has practically stopped. There are objective difficulties inside the WTO," he wrote.

In 2009, Putin threw Russia's bid to join the WTO into disarray, saying Russia would instead form the Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. The new initiative will have to be explained to WTO members.


Putin, who once called the collapse of the USSR in 1991 "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century", said his new project would not resemble the Soviet Union.

"It would be naive to attempt to restore or copy something from the past. However, a stronger integration on a new political and economic basis and a new system of values is an imperative of our era," Putin wrote.

Russia's relationship with its ex-Soviet neighbours has been troubled by trade and political disputes and even armed conflicts such as the 2008 war with Georgia.

Putin said he saw the new union as a supra-national body which would coordinate "economic and currency policy" between its members. It would also be open to new members.

Putin said that the Customs Union would expand to take in Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He also made a veiled criticism of Ukraine which chose to stay outside the union citing its commitment to European integration.

Some of Russian's neighbours were unwilling to commit to integration because this appeared to contradict their decision to build ties with Europe.

But this was a wrong choice, he wrote. He argued that the Customs Union and in future the Eurasian Union would be the European Union's partner in talks over the creation of a common economic space, guaranteeing its members a stronger voice.

"Membership in the Eurasian Union, apart from direct economic benefits, will enable its members to integrate into Europe faster and from a much stronger position."

Putin wrote that he saw the way out of the global crisis through a regional integration, mentioning the European Union, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as examples.

"These 'bricks' can assemble into a more stable global economy," Putin wrote.

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2011, 5:41 p.m.    

Yeah, join the Eurasian Union to increase your inter-dependence on Moscow. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan? What is he thinking of? The only thing those countries create and export is narcotics. And they are as corrupt and autocratic as hell! With no borders and customs checks throughout the "EU" and Afghanistan as their neighbour, it will be a free play ground for the bratva! Ukraine should stay out and choose the path towards the European Union!

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Anonymous Oct. 4, 2011, 11:10 p.m.    


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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2011, 1:38 a.m.    

Is this article a joke?

Why would anybody in their right mind want to deal with the kremlin when they constantly lie; despise you for not being russian and speaking a different language; and on top of that, any deals that are made, you can guarantee that they will always go back on their word.

What is it with the Ukrainians whom sucker up to the crap coming out of Ukraine's immigrant russian population and their puppet-masters at the kremlin?

Ukrainians seem to be like goldfish with short attention spans whom constantly forget their history and choice of so called partners.

Ukraine has been their before with russia, and was just treated as servants and 2nd rate citizens. Why would you want to do this again?

Why not try something new and have a 'equal' partnership with the rest of the world. Why do you constantly think you owe something to russia? russia should be paying compensation for the acts of genocide and suppression and misery of the masses!!!

There is a reason why the rest of the world mistrusts russia, and Ukraine has suffered the most, so why does Ukraine constantly go back for more?

Ukraine could be a major player in the world if it was not for the kremlin constant interfering with Ukraines ability to interact with the rest of the World.

russia is not interested in Ukraine and the welfare of Ukrainians. It despises Ukrainian culture and language, and denies Ukrainian history and sovereignty.

The only thing's russia is interested in is saddling Ukraine with another russian yoke, and getting their hands on the GTS system so that it can make more money for the few at the kremlin!!!

Come on people, WISE UP!!!

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2011, 1:39 a.m.    

Ukrainian Freedom YES

European Partnership YES

Customs Union / Eurasian Union .... NO, NO, NO

Customs Union / Eurasian Union = stupid backward fantasy for russian persons with delusions of russian imperial (or more likely soviet) gandeur

Customs Union / Eurasian Union = DUMB russian idea for kremlin to dictate to others

Oh yeah, SLAVEic Union, hahaha!!!

You have to ask yourself what have EU offered to its members except freedom, sovereignty, and protection? You don't see nations wanting to leave EU....In fact nations only seem to prosper under EU!!! Look at Poland and how they have prosepered with the EU. They are so glad that russia has gone up it's own arse.

Now ask yourselves what have the kremlin masters and russian immigrants brought to Ukraine? Mafia state where only the few proseper, Holodomor (attempted genocide of a nation by so-called-brother nation), slavery, collectivization, gulags, putin, Chechnya, stalin, yanukonvict, oligachs, russian language, russification, gaz misery (cutting of gaz supplies and the unnecessary high prices), starting the 2nd world war with Germany by invading Poland, falsification of history, interference of russian orthodox church, mass murder, black sea fleet, Katyn murders, KGB, mass deportations, destruction of Ukrainian sovereignty, culture and language etc, etc, etc.

...Need I say more.

russian propaganda against EU is designed to hold back Ukraine so that the kremlin can saddle Ukraine with another russian yoke. russia is trying to restrict Ukraine from being a true European, democratic and sovereign nation.

Ukraine is definitely not russia, and Ukraine needs russia and some slavic Customs Union / Eurasian Union fantasy (or is it SLAVEic union) like a hole in the head.

Why be a servant in a union with russia, when you can be a EQUAL partner with the rest of the world?

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Anonymous Dec. 11, 2011, 8:11 p.m.    

Eurasian globalists (Eurasian Union) versus Bilderberg globalists (European Union)

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