Russia got a unique role in Greater Eurasia
Russia is expanding from Europe to Asia and wants to create a large Eurasian space, uniting the territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This is not Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok. And Eurasia from Portugal to Indonesia. The process has started - and this continental integration will continue, even if Europe does not find the strength to join this process.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not the only high-ranking guest at the Eastern Economic Forum. But if Shinzo Abe arrives every year, then the Malaysian prime minister, the legendary 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, arrives for the first time. If in past years the forum was mainly attended by the leaders of the Far Eastern countries (Japan, Korea) and China, now both South and Southeast Asia are joining.
Putin’s visit to Indonesia is expected soon: not just the seventh largest economy in the world, but also the largest Muslim country. Putin made an official visit to this country only once and for a very long time: in 2007 (and in 2013 he came to the APEC forum). But in the 50-60s Indonesia President Sukarno was one of the closest partners of our country in Asia, slightly inferior to India.
The president has long been awaited in other countries of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, where he has never been at all. Relations between Russia and the countries of the region received a powerful impetus after the Russia-ASEAN summit held last November in Singapore, but this is not just about bilateral relations.
The countries of Southeast Asia, united in the so far ASEAN economic bloc, are showing increasing interest in the integration programs that Russia and China are promoting. And India, which is still apprehensively accepting China’s strengthening in Asia through interaction with Russia and participation in the SCO, is also paying more and more attention to the Eurasian project. Big Eurasian project.
Greater Eurasia is what Russia offers to all Asians.
Europeans, however, also, but first they need to decide on their Atlantic obligations. The East is already sovereign today. And although formally he is in the role of catching up with the West, no one doubts that his era is coming.
Russia offers a pair of several existing economic projects in Eurasia. As said, speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov, the concept of the Greater Eurasian Partnership is open to all countries and associations.
Russia considers both the Russian Eurasian Economic Union, and the Chinese program “One Belt, One Way”, and the ASEAN common market, and the convergence of the economies of the SCO countries, and, if desired, the EU as the main assembly points, the key elements of Greater Eurasia. But even without Europe, it’s not just a huge market, but the most powerful block in the world. Now it exists only in the form of a consultative and mainly devoted to the SCO security issues. But if you give it also the economic dimension and connect ASEAN, and even Japan and Korea, to it?
It is clear that we are not talking about a military or even political union, but about the rapprochement of the countries of Eurasia, which in fact meets their own interests. No matter how many contradictions and disputes between them, including territorial, as between India and Pakistan or China and the countries of Southeast Asia, there are much more common interests. The main one is to take your fate into your own hands, that is, to determine the rules of the game and the image of the future yourself. Oust the West, the Atlantists from Eurasia, that is, refuse to play according to their geopolitical, military, ideological and financial scenarios. And not just crowding out, but replacing their rules of the game with your own, that is, worked out by the joint efforts of the Eurasians or Asians themselves. This is a super-ambitious and extremely complex task. But the goal is not universal.
Mahathir Mohamad has long offered Muslim countries to create their own currency to supplant the dollar and European currencies. But they did not listen, or rather they were afraid to approach, realizing that all the levers were in the hands of the "owners of the casino", that is, the creators of the modern monetary and financial system. But today, the issue of transition to the post-dollar era is already ripe and overripe. And it is precisely in Greater Eurasia that a new unit of account will have to appear.
For 40 years now, Afghanistan has been a source of tension not only for Central Asia, and who, like its neighboring Eurasian countries, must put an end to the Afghan drama, while ensuring that Americans who have nothing to do with Afghanistan leave the country. Only the Eurasians themselves could solve the far-fetched Korean nuclear problem that arose as Pyongyang’s defensive reaction to American threats. A bridge can be built between Sakhalin and Hokkaido, Russia and Japan. But for this it is necessary to reduce Japan’s dependence on the United States - that is, a force external to Eurasia.
Russia's role in creating Greater Eurasia is unique. It is not just in our special position as the only country located in Europe and Asia, but in our desire to act as an integrator and conciliator of various conflicting and even conflicting interests. Yes, we cannot resolve Sino-Vietnamese disputes from islands in the South China Sea or the Indian-Pakistani controversy over Kashmir. But we can be a force uniting both sides in the framework of the SCO or in common infrastructure and economic projects.
Unlike the Atlantists, we rely on reducing tension and rapprochement of the positions of rivals, and not on fomenting contradictions, moving them to the stage of confrontation, weakening both sides and imposing our will and interests on them. Of course, on top of everything, Russia is independent, strong in spirit and army, rich in mineral resources and has a 300-year tradition of the “big game”. But our main value for Eurasia lies precisely in our unique role as a connector of the unconnected. That is why Russia is needed by everyone in Eurasia, and this is our main geopolitical trump card now.
The assembly of Greater Eurasia is impossible by the efforts of Russia alone. But it is Russia that is the key element that makes it possible in principle.