Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Putin’s Eurasian Union

Current Russian Prime Minister and Future President Vladimir Putin has proposed something of a Eurasian Union that would contain Russia and states that formerly comprised the Soviet Union. I assume that any Eurasian Union would look similar to the European Union except with Russia as the dominant power.

 Putin made these remarks just days before a scheduled trip to China to sign a number of key trade agreements. I’d have to hear more about what Mr. Putin conceptualizes as a “Union” before I render a final judgment, but if he’s thinking of something like the European Union, the idea is a loser.

What if we have a Eurasian debt crisis like the one currently plaguing Europe? Russia is not so economically diverse that they could shoulder the load for large bailouts, meaning the heavy lifting would fall upon Russia, lets see how appealing a Union looks then.

 Furthermore, the region already has numerous problems with human trafficking and organized crime. Creating the kind of borderless society that the EU has would only seek to worsen these problems making it easier for Eurasia’s daughters to disappear into the seedy world of the global sex trade.

The only real advantage that I could see for Russia is a potential increase in influence among the former Soviet states, but even that could be marginal as one gets closer to China. The more I think about it, Russia would be merely the junior partner in any arrangement with China, which could be problematic given Russia’s tendency towards autocratic rule and desire to be the best country on the planet.

I see any Eurasian Union as a chaotic, fractionalized, mess and would plead with Mr. Putin “Just look at Europe.”

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