ALMATY, June 4 (The Conway Bulletin) – At a ceremony in Astana, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko signed into existence the Eurasian Economic Union (May 29).
The Eurasian Economic Union is the successor of the Customs Union and is designed to further integrate its members’ economies. The rhetoric has been of high praise for the Eurasian Economic Union but the reaction on the street has been markedly different, as a correspondent for The Bulletin discovered in Almaty.
Berik, a 35-year-old office worker wasn’t even sure of the treaty. “Who are the parties involved?” he said. “Belarus and Russia. I’m not sure, with them it could go either way. It could either be a success or a failure.”
An ethnic Russian lady hurrying along the street also said she doubted the value of the group. “It would have been better if they had not signed the treaty,” she said.
Other people agreed. Most had either not heard of the Eurasian Economic Union or said they doubted it would be positive.
One of the few people to support the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union was Saken a 50-year-old man who worked in real estate. He said that Soviet era ties remained and that the union would be stronger than if countries pursued their own agendas.
“In the Eurasian Union we will welcome troubled countries like Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, who are not really as stable as we are, but we will definitely help them, with the same friendship we used to relate to each other during the Soviet era,” he said.
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This article was first published in the weekly Conway Bulletin newssheet on June 4. For more details on the Bulletin, please click here