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Ukrainian crisis to have no negative impacts on Eurasian integration - expert

“The Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union have something in common - big steps to bring economies and finance closer together. But there is a principal difference,” politician adds

MOSCOW, April 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the Ukrainian crisis will have no negative impact on the process of Eurasian integration and the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union, Alexander Dzasokhov, a veteran of Russian politics and a member of the board of trustees of the Russian Council on International Affairs, told a news conference at ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

He said that parallels between the situation in Ukraine and the state of affairs in Belarus and Kazakhstan were irrelevant. Unlike Ukraine, in his words, Kazakhstan was conducting a balanced nationality policy. “If, starting from 1994, when Ukraine was invited to the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan], it have been taking it as a path of development and relations with countries, which form the basis of the Eurasian Union, Ukraine might have had an absolutely different situation,” Dzasokhov noted. “Russia gives no cause to look upon the Eurasian project as something engrossing.”

He said he did not share the opinion that the Eurasian integration proceeded in a faster pace than European integration. “The Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union have something in common - big steps to bring economies and finance closer together,” Dzasokhov noted. “But there is a principal difference - 50 years ago European countries found themselves with their backs turned on each other. But we have behind ourselves - not in archives but in the memories of people living now - a vast experience of joint fate within a single state.”

Although “the Eurasian Economic Union can be considered as an aspect, as one of the centres of the multi-polar world,” it is no way a tool stay aloof from Europe,” he stressed. “The European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union must cooperate with each other.”

According to Vyacheslav Mikhailov, the holder of chair in interethnic relations at the Russian Academy of the National Economy and State Service under the Russian President, the Eurasian idea is not based on the confrontation with the West. “It is geared to connect the West and the East. But it is opposite to the ideology of Eurocenrism,” he said.

The Eurasian Economic Union’s geographical boundaries “have not yet been finally established,” Dzasokhov went on to say. “It is bound to expand and there is no need in a hurry.” He added he was confident that the Eurasian Economic Union would ultimately go beyond the limits of the former Soviet Union.

Alexander Dzasokhov, a Soviet and Russian state figure and diplomat, turned 80 on Thursday. He was the Soviet ambassador to Syria in 1986-1988, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the USSR Communist Party in 1990-1991, and President of Russia’s Republic of North Ossetia (Alania) in 1998-2005.