Russia and four ex-Soviet Nations Finalise New Alliance EEU

Russia and four ex-Soviet nations have finalized the formation of a new economic alliance- Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Four ex-Soviet nations are Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

It was finalized in EEU summit held in Moscow, Russia.

EEU will come into existence on 1 January 2015. It seeks to bolster  integration of member nations which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan primarily located in northern Eurasia.

Key facts about Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)

  • It aims to provide free trade among member countries without any barriers.
  • In addition, it will co-ordinate the financial systems and regulates industrial and agricultural policies along with labour markets and transportation networks of member nations.
  • EEU will bring together around 170 million people from 5 member nations and will have a combined economic output of $4.5 trillion.

Background:  The idea of formation was first suggested in 1994 by then President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev during his speech at Moscow State University. He had suggested the idea to create a regional trading bloc.

Signatories:  A treaty aiming for the establishment of the EEU was signed on 29 May 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. Armenia’s and Kyrgyzstan’s signed this treaty later on 9 October 2014 and 23 December respectively.

Operation of EEU: The union will operate through supranational and intergovernmental institutions. The supranational institutions are Eurasian Commission (the executive body), the Court of the EEU (the judicial body) and the Eurasian Development Bank. National governments will be represented by the Eurasian Commission’s Council.

Ukraine’s opposition: Earlier Russia had tried to encourage Ukraine to join EEU. But after Crimean crisis of February 2014 i.e. after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine decided to stay away from EEU and moved closer towards NATO and EU.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017

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