Eurasianism, Eurasian Economic Union and Multipolarity: Assessments of Foreign Experts

Leonid Savin, Konstantin Kurylev, Sergey Bazavluk

Eurasianism, in its various interpretations, from ideology to the implementation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) programs, is regarded as one of the strategies of creating a multipolar world order. This article analyzes the views and assessments of foreign authors regarding the relationship between Eurasianism and the  EAEU  amid  the  changing  international  context.

The  authors  present  both  critical  and  positive  opinions  on Eurasianism, Eurasian integration and its political and economic interlinkages with other countries and associations (China, Vietnam, the European Union (EU), Latin America). Thus, we identify three main lines of assessments on Eurasianism  and  Eurasian  integration.  The  first  includes  negative  assessments  ranging  from  characterizing Eurasianism and the EAEU as a threat to the EU, the US, and the West in general to deliberate misinformation about  the  Eurasian  ideology,  for  instance,  denoting  Eurasianism  as  “parafascism.”  The  second  comprises  more pragmatic and balanced views, with an emphasis on economic cooperation, which may imply cooperation with the EAEU and acceptance of the Eurasian integration if specific conditions are met, or cessation of such cooperation. The third group includes positive assessments and emphasizes the need for more intensive interaction between the EAEU and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. Such views are generally held by Russian and Chinese authors. Non-Russian conceptions of Eurasianism that gained popularity in Turkey or Kazakhstan are ideologically close to the classic Eurasianism and the EAEU, although these conceptions take a distinctive national shape. The article provides  some  examples  of  interregional  cooperation  promoted  by the EAEU within the BRICS under the “outreach” model, i.e., adding new dimensions to existing cooperation formats. The authors arrive at a conclusion that most often the assessments of Eurasian integration and cooperation proposals by foreign experts are tied to Russian foreign policy (or experts’ opinion of it). They often find interconnections between EAEU, Eurasianism and Russian policy, which emphasize Russian identity as a marker of distinctive civilization. The article also notes comments of Russian authors on the EAEU — EU relations. The research is based on comparative analysis of analytical and research publications on the subject

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