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What can Eurasian Union learn from EU troubles?

Published time: November 20, 2011 00:55
Edited time: November 21, 2011 12:11

Dmitry Medvedev, Alexander Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev meet in Kremlin (RIA Novosti / Dmitry Astakhov)

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As Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan move a step closer to a Common Economic Space, a union bearing similarities with the EU, could they run into the same troubles? The man at the heart of the matter explained to RT how to avoid pitfalls.

­“The current situation when the eurozone is facing internal economic problems has helped us to identify proper ways to integrate and co-ordinate our budget, financial and monetary policies. In this way, we will be able to avoid piling up internal risks and, generally, situations like this one”, said Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Khristenko, who’s been nominated to head the Eurasian Economic Commission.

The presidents of the three countries signed the declaration on Eurasian economic integration which would lead to the creation of the Eurasian Union – a body which other post-Soviet countries could join – and the Common Economic Space which will follow the rules of the World Trade Organization and pick up many characteristics of the European Union. But will it have a common currency? Well it’s yet to be decided. But Khristenko says there’s a lot to learn from the EU’s experience – and difficulties.

“The crisis has underlined one simple thing – if you go as far as creating a single-currency union, you must exercise tight control over budget, monetary and tax policies at national levels. If this is not the case, then some regions of the eurozone will be exposed to processes similar to what is happening today in Greece, Italy and Spain,” he said.

Khristenko also pointed out that the development of “localized globalization processes” is a more sustainable model.

The question is – can there be just one centralized system with just one center defining all the processes and development trends for the entire global economy? And the answer became obvious to everyone – that it cannot be this way, he said.

In an interview with RT’s Sofi Shevarnadze and the Voice of Russia’s Roman Mamonov, he explained how the planned Common Economic Space would operate and  interact with the WTO and EU, and how it  would withstand the financial crisis.

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