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MOSCOW, August 7 (Itar-Tass) - The Eurasian Economic Union is not an attempt to establish Russia’s dominance or to revive the former Soviet Union but a movement towards an association, like the European Union, featuring a high degree of mutually beneficial integration, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with the Georgian television channel Rustavi-2 on Tuesday. According to Medvedev, this project might be of interest for Georgia and other Russian neighbors.
“It is not a revival of the Soviet Union,” he said. “Who needs to revive the Soviet Union? We were all born there and now there is no point in it - we are living in the 21st century.”
“We can build highly-integrated economies, where there will be no younger or elder brothers, where all the rights will be observed and where our economic interests will be realized to the utmost benefit,” Medvedev noted, citing as an example the European Union, which has integrated economies, the common currency unit, common market, and which has a solid margin of safety, despite the current difficulties. “We should take it for a model. Of course, we should adjust it getting rid of what does not work but in general it is a good example. We want to build something like this.”
The idea to create an association like the Eurasian Economic Union was born as far back as the 1990s but it is realized “not because it is an instrument of promoting the idea of Russia’s dominance,” the Russian prime minister noted. “We think this style of our life together as the most civilized and most advanced one.” In his words, The Eurasian Economic Union project is about equal integration, consolidation of economic potentials, the use of mutually beneficial trade, investments, and humanitarian cooperation. “Now this idea continues its progress,” he added.
The Russian head of government noted that this project might be of interest for Russia’s neighbors, including Georgia. “We will never be neighbors to the United States, whatever happens… We can be partners and we should be partners [with the United States] but we will never be neighbors, and the closest economic integration is possible when people live next door,” Medvedev said.
According to Medvedev, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, who united into the Customs Union, already have had a chance to feel the benefits of integration. “As soon as we created it [the Customs Union], trade turnover with both Kazakhstan and Belarus increased by an average of 40-50 percent, and even more in some sectors, and it gave extra stability to our trade and economic relations,” Medvedev added.