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Vasily Stoyakin: Ukraine is turning into “EuroISIS”

Summits of BRICS (international union of development states – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) are held in Ufa, Russia, these days.

BRICS – is an overwhelmingly economic union that looks to create a certain “parallel economic reality” not depending on the world’s financial center in the United States. That is exactly why the major topics on agenda of the summit were reforms at IMF, establishment of the BRICS Development Bank and Foreign Exchange Reserve Pool. Development of the BRICS Economic Partnership Strategy is nearing completion. The document will have an enclosure with a specific list of joint investments projects (for instance – options of transport corridors within the new Silk Road, to which the meeting of the BRICS and EEU leaders will be dedicated).

BRICS countries have been the leaders by the global economic growth over the last years. In 2014, their aggregate GDP came up with the U.S. GDP.

SCO is an overwhelmingly military and political organization that is set to ensure the regional security, fight terrorism and drug trafficking. The signatory countries are keen to adopt the SCO Development Strategy for 2025 and - just imagine - to admit India and Pakistan! Any world-minded man knows how tense the relations of these parts of the former British India are.  Those tensions have repeatedly resulted in armed conflicts (the last one was the so-called Kargil War in 1999). Both these countries have nuclear weapons… It will be a breakthrough in the peace and stability efforts in Asia, if India and Pakistan join SCO.

Generally, we have an opportunity to witness both economic and military and political integration in the Eurasian area, despite the statements of various “experts” about the “international isolation of Putin’s regime.”

What about Ukraine?  Ukraine obtains the results of, to put it mildly, shortsightedness of its leadership and citizens. Yet a couple of years ago, the supporters of the Eurasian vector of integration (including me) warned that “the European integration line having no alternative” will drive Ukraine out of the Eurasian integration process and the EU will not admit it either.  This has happened eventually, though in a different way, not the way we anticipated.

Ukraine has not fit into the Eurasian project, with the European project having ended without starting. Petro Poroshenko has also said that on June 4. Actually, further European integration of Ukraine comes down to the launch of the free trade area with EU (last year Ukraine’s trade with EU grew by only 0.7%, despite the ideal conditions – Europe lifted tariff restrictions on a unilateral basis) and provision of visa-free regime (it will be discussed in autumn of 2016 and there are no guarantees that results will be positive). 

Ukraine’s accession to NATO is not anticipated either, though it had been used as an element of rapprochement with the EU for a long period.  Frankly speaking, EU has no time to think of Ukraine’s integration amid disintegration processes inside the Union.   Although the significance of the Greek crisis seems to me certainly exaggerated, it openly shows that the integration issue in Europe is not pressing.

Ukraine is stuck between the dynamically integrating Eurasian space and the European space that has stooped the integration process. It is like either “blind spot” or “grey zone.” Given the level of Kiev’s subordinance to Washington, it may easily transform into EuroISIS that cannot integrate into any union due to its status.

Vasily Stoyakin, political consultant, specially for EADaily

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