KAZAN, July 1 (Itar-Tass) —— The Eurasian Union should stop being the idea of political elites and gain the status of a national project, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky said an international conference, “The Eurasian Union: Ambitions, Problems, Prospects.”
“First of all, it is necessary to strengthen the public support to the Eurasian Union and to make Eurasian integration a public project,” he said. “Latest sociological surveys showed that people were unaware of the processes and therefore were cautious about the idea of Eurasian integration.”
The rate of supporters of integration varies from 24% to 67% in various countries of the former Soviet Union. Only 48% of Russians supported integration on the post-Soviet space, and 10% of them knew about the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union, the lawmaker said.
“Both authorities and public organizations should pool efforts and the media should spell out advantages of European integration and its positive influence on the prosperity of every family, every citizen in Eurasian Union member states,” he said.
Slutsky called the Eurasian integration project “a historic chance, which must not be missed.”
“This country has covered a distance from chaos and disintegration to revival and construction of a new Eurasian home in the 20 years, which have passed since the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. Now we have a unique chance to reach new boundaries of development and civilization progress through the unity of economic, intellectual, social and cultural potentials,” he said.
According to preliminary estimates, the integration effects measured by GDP would reach approximately $400 billion by 2015, he said. “The integration effect will be significant for every country. Russia will increase its GDP by 16.8%, Belarus by 16%, and Kazakhstan by 14.7%,” he noted.
He also said that trade growth had gone beyond expectations.