Why is it time for Eurasia to unite

25.09.2020

The 75th anniversary session of the UN General Assembly has ended. In his video message, Russian President Putin said seemingly simple things: the need to comply with the principles of international law, the provision of humanitarian assistance and the preservation of the memory of those killed in World War II. However, then he talked about integration on the Eurasian continent.

Once, back in 2007, Vladimir Putin put forward an initiative to coordinate the economic potentials of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China; South Africa joined only in 2011). Later, in 2014, the BRICS Foreign Exchange Reserve Pool and the BRICS Development Bank were created - analogues of the IMF and the World Bank. Then everyone laughed at these structures, but by 2016 it became clear that the BRICS, despite all its problems, would have to be reckoned with. For example, the IMF decided that it was necessary to cooperate with it.

There are several integration associations on the Eurasian continent: ASEAN + 3 (East and Southeast Asia, where the main economy is Chinese), SAARS (South Asia led by India), the EAEU led by Russia, as well as the EU and the countries of the Middle East, united by the organizations of OPEC and the Arab Monetary Fund. And if in BRICS the regional powers are jointly opposing the financial domination of the IMF and the World Bank, then the new concept of the Russian president is focused this time on the Eurasian continent.

Which is logical. It is here that 2/3 of the world's population live, and the total GDP exceeds the rest of the world combined. Here the role of Russia as an energy and military superpower is unlikely to be questioned by anyone, including even China. Russia is capable of providing Eurasia with everything it needs when it comes to security and trade routes. The EU countries, which are dominated by socially oriented market economies, are collectively larger in terms of GDP than the United States. China itself as a state entity, being communist, dominates the domestic market. Also, Russia, although it is not communist, is larger. India is also building its economy through public-private partnerships. The countries of the Middle East, dominated by Sharia, also rule their economies from high offices.

What do we end up with? If these states control their economies, then the development of a model of interaction between them will take into account these features - social guarantees and partial planning. There may be some analogue of the EU Council or the BRICS forum, where the heads of state meet. The only difference is that the Council of Eurasia will consist of the economic powers of the entire continent.

The humanitarian sphere (social and digital security, affordable medicine and education, job security, etc.) must be sufficiently provided. There is also experience here: regional funds such as the Eurasian and European Stabilization Funds allow financing budget deficits during periods of economic decline. Whether a new fund will be created or an international treaty uniting these funds will be concluded is a secondary question. The main thing is that there will be a mechanism for financing the budgets of all Eurasian countries with an eye on the continental economy: it will make it possible to extract part of the funds from private capital turnover in favor of the poor.

The IMF, WTO, World Bank and the International Labor Organization have founded that single world economy that has become unmanageable in recent decades, but which is vulnerable to the constant shocks of global crises. To solve this problem, each region must take on the issues of ensuring financial stability in its area of ​​responsibility. We see this best in the EU, where they launched the issuance of joint government bonds. Now such debt securities in the media for the sake of simplicity began to be called "coronabond". According to them, the new national debt of the countries most affected by the virus will be paid by all member states of the European Union.

Moreover, in contrast to the world economy, where there is little room for social guarantees, in the regions this problem is solved more effectively. Thus, only one labor migration within the integration association can reduce the unemployment rate in some countries and the problem of lack of labor in others. The freedom of movement of goods, services and capital stimulates the growth of the economies of less developed countries. Finally, social orientation and the formation of common customs zones within the regions means the emergence of large common markets.

Regionalization began a long time ago. Only the issue of interaction between individual countries has not been resolved. If Russia manages to solve it, we will once again become an exporter of ideology. It implies the rejection of a purely market economy, the separation of spheres of influence, conservatism, and, what is important, the priority of peoples, not the individual.