ST. PETERSBURG, April 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Speaker of the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament Sergei Naryshkin said the sanctions against Russia, if imposed by the European Union, will only speed up Russia's integration with countries of the Asian-Pacific Region (APR).
Noting the importance of developing Eurasian integration, he referred to the situation in Ukraine, where “an inconsistent integration policy led to obvious socio-economic losses under pressure of the West”, and “resulted in a domestic conflict which is still continuing”.“Earlier, I repeatedly underlined that the Eurasian and European integration vectors should not be opposite; in the future, the European market will become part of the Eurasian one due to the geopolitical position,” the speaker said. “A new serious geopolitical player is taking shape in the world — the Eurasian Economic Union. It will link Europe which has been experiencing production slump in the past seven years with the rapidly developing Asian-Pacific Region.”
Naryshkin stressed that integration should not be local, i.e. at the level of politics or economy: it should be based on interaction in education, culture and science, as well as on information and environmental cooperation.
The Petersburg forum is held for the second year in a row. It is attended by representatives of Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and other countries. Naryshkin recalled that the Eurasian economic space was open for cooperation, and called for more active work at harmonization of legislation in this area. The Eurasian Economic Union treaty is due to be signed this spring.