CIS Members Establish Joint Economic Space

Several CIS countries are very unhappy of being ignored

There has been a lot of commotion recently about the establishment of the joint economic space between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It is still not known, what the idea will eventually lead to. Integration processes on the post-Soviet territory have a peculiar feature: they often remain in the form of documents as soon as top politicians decide that it is not good for their states to speed a process up. All illusions about the viability of the Commonwealth of Independent States are supposed to vanish after the summit in the resort city of Yalta. Furthermore, it turned out that the leaders of the states not included in the joint economic space were extremely unhappy with the situation.

President of Moldavia Vladimir Voronin was the first to express the offence. The Moldavian president said in a statement, Moldavia could pull out from the CIS and strive for closer integration with the European Union. Vladimir Voronin believes, the agreement about the joint economic space between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan has cast away the idea of the CIS modernization. "The presidents of the four states ignored the interests of other countries of the CIS, when they signed the economic treaty," Voronin said.

One may understand the indignation of the Moldavian president. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev had the same feelings, when he had not been invited for the meeting of presidents in 1991. Now Kazakhstan is included on the list of the states that wish to create a new economic association. Apparently, all other former Soviet republics were left to choose if they need to join the initiative on Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan's conditions.

The joint economic space has been formed with most economically developed countries of the CIS. Of course, the notion "developed" is used conditionally here. Yet, the situation is even worse in other CIS countries. It goes without saying that no one said anything about it in Yalta. It seems that the creators of the joint economic space treat outcast CIS countries as dead weight. The European Union is not likely to accept those countries as new members. Nevertheless, it is too early to talk about advantages or disadvantages of the joint economic space. Several years need to pass by until it is clear whether the new association is something more reasonable than the CIS.

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Author`s name Olga Savka