“External Contour” of Eurasian Integration: Cooperation Between the EAEU and the ASEAN

“External Contour” of Eurasian Integration: Cooperation Between the EAEU and the ASEAN

Nikolai Fedorov (Saint Petersburg State University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1950-9.ch014

Abstract

The Eurasian Economic Union is interested in development of cooperation with external actors. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is considered as a prospect partner. ASEAN states play a significant role in economy and international relations in the Asia-Pacific region. The ASEAN is seen as one of the key institutions in Asia-Pacific integration. Moscow keeps stable and friendly relations with many states of Southeast Asia and the ASEAN. It lays a solid foundation for development of a dialogue in Eurasian format. The EAEU signed with Vietnam a free trade agreement in 2015 and it is negotiating on similar treaties with some other states of the ASEAN. The Association expressed readiness to consider the issue of a comprehensive free trade zone between the EAEU and the ASEAN. In November 2018 the Eurasian Economic Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat adopted a memorandum of understanding. The dialogue in Eurasian format can accelerate cooperation between states of the EAEU and Southeast Asia and create more benevolent conditions for alignment of the EAEU and the ASEAN.
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Background

Eurasian integration is now one of key directions in Russian foreign policy. The idea of Eurasian integration was proposed by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev in 1994 yet. Interaction in Eurasian format must strengthen and develop historical ties between states of post-Soviet space. Eurasian integration processes had passed several periods and were embodied in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), having functioned since the beginning of 2015. Great role for development of Eurasian integration is played not only by deepening of cooperation inside the EAEU, but also by enlargement of ties with external actors, including states of the Asia-Pacific region (APR). The idea of connectivity between integration processes in the post-Soviet space and the APR has been declared both politicians and experts for a long time ago. For example, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the APEC summit in Vladivostok in 2012 told on the possibility of participation of the Customs Union (the predecessor of the EAEU) in economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. (Vladimir Putin prinyal uchastie v rabote Delovogo sammita ATES, 2012) Thai researcher Paradorn Rangsimaporn stressed in 2006 yet the linkage between Eurasian ideas and interaction with the Asia-Pacific region in Russian public discourse. (Rangsimaporn, 2006, 385)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Eurasian Economic Commission (EAEC): The permanent regulatory body of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) that aims to ensure the functioning and development of the EAEU.

Indo-Pacific Region: A concept of the expanded Asia-Pacific region with inclusion of the area of the Indian Ocean. This concept is promoted by the United States under conditions of rise of contradictions with China.

ASEAN Secretariat: A unit in the framework of the ASEAN. It coordinates works of the ASEAN organs and assists to implementation of ASEAN projects and activities.

Pivot to the East (or ‘Povorot na Vostok’): A concept of Russian government and complex of measures, having been realized in the 2000-2010s and oriented for the enlargement of cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region and development of Eastern territories of Russia.

One Belt, One Road (OBOR), or ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative (BRI): The Chinese infrastructure mega-project, aimed at connectivity with Europe and followed by investments from China.

ASEAN Dialogue Partners: States, cooperating with the ASEAN and sharing mission and vision of the Association. Cooperation is based on joint decisions and joint planning and implementation of cooperation activities. Cooperation is more focused on larger programs of mutual benefit, which have impact on the development of Southeast Asia and the dialogue relations.

Greater Eurasian Partnership: The Eurasian initiative of Russia, aimed at the formation of a complex, multi-level system of multilateral cooperation with the participation of the EAEU, the ASEAN and the SCO countries.

Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU): An international organization for regional economic integration on the Post-Soviet space. It has international legal personality. The EAEU entered into force since the beginning of 2015 and consists of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): A regional inter-government organization, uniting ten states of Southeast Asia, which promotes inter-government cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and socio-cultural integration among its members and other countries.

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