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Putin checked the post-Soviet space
Material posted: Publication date: 15-04-2017

On 14 April, Russian President Vladimir Putin held in Bishkek, participating in meetings of the governing body of the EEU, as well as an informal meeting of the leaders of the CSTO. The talks between the heads of the countries of the former Soviet bloc found the simultaneous desire to expand the external influence and the growth of internal tensions.

14 April in Bishkek gathered the first persons of the countries of the former USSR. First, the leaders of Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia gathered for a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian economic Council, which is the main governing body of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU). After they were joined by the head of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, and in this part of the policy discussed the security of the region — at an informal meeting in the framework of the collective security Treaty (CSTO).

More flags

The event was held in the Ala-Archa residence of the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev. This country is currently the Chairman of the organization. Next year it will be replaced by Russia.

Meetings were interspersed with traditional photo shoots on the background of flags of countries – participants of the EAEC and the CSTO. This time they added a symbol of another country, while in the non-Union. Talking about the Republic of Moldova. Its President Igor Dodon has repeatedly stated that he would like Moldova to join the EEU as an observer state.

On the day of the Supreme Eurasian economic Council only fundamentally supported this intention. The next meeting of the Council undertook to prepare a plan for the implementation of this status. Nevertheless, the Moldavian flag 14 APR coexisted with the flags of the countries participating in the Union.

"You can be confident that you're getting in my face partner and friend," — said Igor Dodon. He also said that the current his country's Association agreement with EU not against the signing of the more significant documents of the EAEU.

First Deputy Chairman of RF government Igor Shuvalov later told about another promising area of cooperation is with Iran. The official said that the agreement between Tehran and the Eurasian economic Union requires further development, in accordance with the observations of the members of the Union. According to Shuvalov, the negotiations on this issue can be finished in may. "The quality agreement should care about more than speed," he said.


However, not all the performances sounded optimistic. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko was clearly have little critical of others. He criticized the potential expansion of the EEU, but rather internal contradictions.

"In 2016 we failed to stop the decline in turnover and to eliminate the causes that led to this," said the Belarusian leader. Lukashenko proposed to introduce a moratorium on the adoption of legal acts bearing the "clearly discriminatory" against the participants of the EEU. The Belarusian leader also said that the work on improvement of the agreement between the member countries of the Union should not end with technical edits.

"When one of the parties takes unilateral measures on the protection of the market in relation to third States, hence like a snowball growing internal contradictions of the allies" — emotionally, with a hint Lukashenka said.

It was a signal to Moscow, which last year adopted a series of measures restricting the free movement of goods and people across the Russian-Belarusian border. In addition, at the end of last year between the two countries has escalated the dispute over prices for the supply of Russian hydrocarbons.

Lukashenko also said that in the interests of Belarus would be the expansion of preferential agreements with other countries about free trade zone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, defended his vision of the situation on the border with Belarus. The politician called for "pairing information systems" of government agencies of States members of the Union. This primarily relates to the customs services. The introduction of such measures is intended to create a mechanism for monitoring the movement of goods in the territory of the Union.

"This would liberalize and improve solutions to such issues problematic for the transit of goods from third countries, including Ukraine", — explained Putin.

"We discussed this repeatedly discussed and came to the conclusion that the introduction of this electronic system for tracking the movement of goods would help us and our partners that are outside the Union," he added.

According to the President of Russia, the EEU has worked as a "safety cushion" for the common market, despite the costs associated with the unfavorable external environment. This role the Union should play in the future, explained Putin additional measures of border control.

Narrow the circle around Afghanistan

The agenda of the meeting of the CSTO was determined Almazbek Atambayev. He talked about the need for consolidation and preventive measures in counteracting new threats. However, in a head came only threats to longstanding, but no less dangerous. Spring — the traditional period of increasing activities of terrorist groups along the borders of post-Soviet Central Asia and Afghanistan.

After the informal meeting of the leaders of the CSTO, to which media access was closed to journalists there was the acting Secretary General of the organization Valery Semerikov. He dryly said that the heads of state discussed the problems within the area of their responsibility.

According to him, on may 2, the CSTO Secretary General will be the Secretary of the national security Council of Armenia Yuri Khachaturov. "These questions are not in vain was considered in a narrow circle," he said. However, under pressure from journalists, he still acknowledged that the main theme of the talks was Afghanistan.

According to the press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, the meeting discussed the fight against terrorism. But the situation related to the impact of the American MOAB bomb the GBU-43/B at the base of the terrorist "Islamic state" (IG, is prohibited in Russia), was not discussed.

The Russian armed forces, helps to combat the terrorist threat bordering Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In both countries there is a Russian military base. In December last year, Atambayev said that the Russian military base should be withdrawn from Kyrgyzstan after the end of the lease term — that is, after 15 years.

"We have to rely on its armed forces, not the armies of other States", — said the head of the country. The Russian President said that Russian troops leave the country at any time. Most importantly, that Kyrgyzstan was ready to provide for its security.

"If once Kyrgyzstan say that they are so strengthened their forces that such a database does not need them, we this day leave," — said Putin. Experts in security have noted that Kyrgyzstan could face serious challenges when it will come back the militants, who fought on the side of ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria.

Last year in Bishkek, an explosion occurred near the building of the Embassy of China. Authorities called it the executors of the militants of the "Islamic movement of Turkestan in Syria," associated with a terrorist group "dzhebhat an-Nusra" (an organization banned in Russia). According to official figures, today the war in Syria, about 10 thousand Russian-speaking fighters from the former Soviet Union.

Andrew Vinokurov (Bishkek), Alexander Braterskiy


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