Dialogue with the Eurasian Union on Ukraine – an opportunity or a trap?

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Series Details No.154 01.12.14
Publication Date 01/12/2014
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The Eurasian Union (or, to give it its full name, the Eurasian Economic Union, EEU) is Russia's flagship project, by use of which it aims to institutionally subordinate the post-Soviet states to itself using political ties and the projected common economic space. The Kremlin has so far managed to persuade Belarus and Kazakhstan, and tentatively also Armenia, to join this integration project, which on the surface looks like a multilateral initiative but in reality conceals a network of bilateral relations centred on Russia. However, in order for Russia to reconstruct its influence in its neighbourhood permanently and without change, it is of key importance that Ukraine is incorporated into the EEU. That still seemed feasible even in 2013, but the Maidan and the Russian-Ukrainian war have undone this possibility. However, they also opened up an alternative scenario for Russia, one in which the Western states recognise the Eurasian Union as a legitimate partner in discussions about a new order in Europe with a view to restoring peace in Ukraine. It is worth taking into account the strategic consequences of that scenario. We need to consider if the idea which Moscow has been lobbying for – and which has found some supporters in Brussels and Berlin – threatens to take us back to the Cold War system of geopolitical blocs and implies recognition of Russia's dominance over Ukraine and the other Eastern Partnership countries?

Source Link http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/58203
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