Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine union called the way ahead

The idea put forward by Anatoly Chubais, co-chairman of the Union of Right Forces, of a 'liberal empire' is neither good for Russia in the long run nor realistic as part of a party platform but dangerous.

This was the view of Dariga Nazarbayeva, chairman of the Monitoring Union of the International Institute for Modern Politics (Kazakhstan), in speaking here last Saturday (November 15) at the 'Variety of Paths for the Development of Democracy in the Post-Soviet Lands: The Experience of Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine' conference.

'The optimal format for relations within the SNG,' Nazarbayeva said, 'is not a liberal empire but the joint leadership of the Eurasian troika of the three biggest post-Soviet democratic countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine.' 'Eurasia will be liberal, but it will not be an empire,' she emphasized. She said that, by most standards, Russia is undoubtedly the regional leader. However, on other counts, other countries of the SNG are ahead, she said. 'For example, Kazakhstan is the leader in making structural reforms and in attracting foreign investment. Kazakhstan has successfully carried out reform in the energy sector, pension reform, tax amnesties and has created a mortgage system. The amount of investment in the Kazakhstan economy is six times higher per person than the figure for Russia,' Nazarbayeva said.

In her opinion, several countries clearly have established 'zones of leadership' in the post-Soviet area. These countries are Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. 'It is necessary to build an effective partnership between these three countries on the basis of interrelations between elements of their civil societies,' Nazarbayeva said. 'The International Institute for Modern Politics proposes that the intellectual, economic and political elites and the civil organizations of Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine participate to create a social policy that supports the joint leadership of the Eurasian troika,' Nazarbayeva stated.

The International Institute for Modern Politics, based in Alma-Ata, is an non-governmental organization devoted to research and the support of efforts to bolster civil society, create models of effective management in government and economics and to strategies for intergovernmental mergers. The institute was founded in 2003.

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