Dialogue in the Name of the Future: Day 3. About the present and the future of the EEU

05 December 2018

The third day of the Dialogue in the Name of the Future-2018 began with a conversation about the Russian foreign policy with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia in 2000-2004 and 2007-2008 Alexander Losyukov. The diplomat with half a century of experience told participants about specific features of work in eastern countries.

“Diplomacy solves tasks, which are set by leadership of a country. It is a tool, but not like a hammer or a computer, which can provide valuable and useful knowledge”, summarized Alexander Losyukov.

Much attention in the working day agenda was given to status and prospects of the Eurasian integration space.

Director of the Center for European and International Studies at HSE Dr. Timofey Borodachev believes that creation of a common market is extremely important for the EEU: “A big mistake is to run along four race tracks at the same time. We should decide how to create a critical amount of that integration and using what markets we can do that”.

Dr. Emil Djurayve, Professor of OSCE Academy (Bishkek), introduced the following thesis into the discussion: “The concept of “Eurasia” has three levels – physicogeographical, historical-cultural and political-economical”.

“Geographically Eurasia is a too broad concept, an empty vessel. Historical reality and common past also do not play a serious role in development of today. Eurasia as a community of modern countries is the most attractive and viable aspect and with such an approach participants of the Eurasian integration can even include those countries, which are not considered Eurasian based on primary parameters. However, the Eurasian Economic Union is poorly marked as a political entity and is in amorphous state. Political-economical Eurasia can become a magnet for everyone. It all depends on existence of trustworthy cooperation in the EEU member countries both between each other and with partners outside”.

Sergey Palagin, Expert of the Center for Regional Policy and Security (Minsk): “There are successful ties between Russia and Belarus, which can be extrapolated onto other EEU member countries. Trade between the members of the union has been developing most dynamically between Russia and Belarus: it provides 60% of the total goods exchange in the EEU.

The EEU is in focus of several large players: the EU, China and the US. Interests of each of them have been clearly identified: to intensify their own influence and weaken the influence of others. In order to neutralize that external gravitation, the EEU crucially needs an economic breakthrough. There is a number of problems on the way to successful integration. First of all, it is a difference in expectations of the countries-partners and deficit of mutual understanding. Secondly, various levels of development of market relations and potential for free entrepreneurship. Absence of competitive technologies on a global level (beside, perhaps, a military field) and an insignificant indicator of investment cooperation are also present”.

The Dialogue in the Name of the Future-2018 will last till December 8. Among the participants are representatives of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Serbia, Azerbaijan Moldova, USA, Montenegro, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, France, Germany and other countries.

The Dialogue in the Name of the Future will be the first part of large-scale International Educational Project “Synthesis of Public Diplomacy and Modern Technologies as a New Trend in International Relations”, which was sponsored by the Presidential Grants Foundation. The main organizer of the project is the Primakov Center for Foreign Policy Cooperation. The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations RAS (IMEMO RAS) became partners of the event.

Read more in Russian here