Putin Outlines Eurasian Economic Union
Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined the formation of a Eurasian Economic Union that would counterbalance European and American economic power.
The Eurasian Economic Union will have a close-knit relationship between Russia and China at its heart and comprise former Soviet states Belarus and Kazakhstan, Putin told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan could also be added to the union, he said.
As the West seeks to find alternatives to Russian gas and increase sanctions over the ongoing Ukrainian dispute, Russia is “going to focus on Eurasian investment” from now on, according to Putin.
Gazprom, the state-backed gas giant, just signed a US$400 billion, 30-year deal to supply gas to China, which Putin called the country’s “best result” in the last few years.
“We have gathered here for economic discussions, but we cannot erase political discussions,” Putin said, warning that sanction might have a boomerang effect.
“Economic sanctions as a tool of political pressure are eventually going to attack the economy of the countries who have initiated the sanctions,” he said.
The origins of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAU) go back to November 2011, when President Putin, along with the presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus agreed to begin uniting their economies, legal systems, and customs services and make it fully operational by 2015.