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Author, film researcher and member of the Swedish Military History Commission.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Rise of the Eurasian Union

Popular clip warning Ukrainians of civil war, NATO intervention (above you see German troops) and stressing the necessity of the Eurasian Union.

Imagine it was less than a year before the launch of the European Union but almost no journalists reported about it. Does that sound impossible? Well, I would argue that we in the EU member states and the United States are now living in that kind of media situation.

The 2013 mass protests in Ukraine resulted in thousands of news reports in English and hundreds in my native Swedish. A fair number of them mentioned the background of the EU’s Eastern Partnership versus the Russian-led Customs Union. Not that many mentioned the underlying vision of the Eurasian Union and, here is my point, only very few western media reports have explained what the Eurasian Union vision is, where it comes from and how close it is to being launched, i.e. January 1, 2015. The launch was again verified by Vladimir Putin himself, as a little Christmas present.

One of the few English-language journals to have realized the importance of the rise of the Eurasian Union is European Business Review (EBR). Shortly before Christmas EBR interviewed British Liberal MEP Sir Graham Watson, who frankly told EBR:

"One of the main problems with ENP [European Neighbourhood Policy] is Russia, and how we deal with the rise of the Eurasian Union, which has become the elephant in the room. We need to be cannier in how we respond to Russia's overtures to our Eastern neigbours which are likely to be in full gear from the Sochi Olympics up to the launch of Eurasian Union in January 2015."

Former German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor Joschka Fischer on December 31 commented under the headline "Europe’s Ukrainian Blunder" in a most undiplomatic manner, seeing threats to "post-Soviet order in Europe" and "a lot of violence".

EU security "does not capture the reality of today’s world” said Spain´s former Foreign Minister Ana Palacio.

That is what I call being frank.

Still, no big debate in "normal" media about the conflicting visions and projects of the EU and the Russian-led Eurasian Union.

Well, today at least a leading political risk consultancy, the Eurasia Group, published some sound conclusions about Russia in its "Top Risks 2014" guide. I especially agree with "The implications of an all-powerful leader with a shrinking support base and a flair for the unpredictable are worrisome". The following I do not agree with: "Policy has already become more erratic and lacking in strategic vision". But that doesn´t at all change how valid I find this later recommendation: "Look for brash geopolitical behavior from Russia in 2014".

BTW, if you haven´t yet read the article "Can a China-Russia Axis Bankrupt the US?", just do it...

Finally, two of the most important Youtube clips from 2013 regarding the Eurasian Union, the first one (promoting the union as the only viable solution) both in Russian and with a voice-over in English (the clips are the same although the first images differ). The last clip, "Euromaidan Anthem", has subtitles in English and features some of the strongest images from Ukraine last year:

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