The Eurasian integration is over the “honeymoon”

The Eurasian integration is over the “honeymoon”

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Most of the inhabitants of the countries of the EEU Eurasian integration, although the economic crisis led to some decline in support for integration processes

Photo: TASS/press service of the government of the Russian Federation/Dmitry Astakhov

A survey of the population of the CIS countries and member States of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU), showed that the Eurasian integration is in demand in 2016. In General, the level of support exceeds 60%. However, in most countries it is in the last year decreased. These are the results of the annual study “the Integration barometer EDB”. Experts attribute the decline in support in some countries with economic difficulties faced by all States, including Russia as a power center integration. However, the prospects for large enterprises, although the process will take years.

With the exception of Armenia to the member countries of the EAEU in the proportion of positive ratings of the Eurasian integration in 2016 amounted to more than 60% from 63% in Belarus to 81% in Kyrgyzstan. These results were obtained in the course of the study (“news” first got acquainted with the document) Centre for integration studies of the Eurasian development Bank (EDB) “the Integration barometer EDB”. In 2016, the survey took 8.5 thousand citizens in the seven CIS countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Tajikistan.

The researchers recorded mixed performance in different countries. So, in Belarus revealed growing public support for the Eurasian integration over the year from 60 to 63%. In other member States of the Union over the past year has been a drop in public support of participation in the EAEC in Kyrgyzstan — from 86 to 81%, in Kazakhstan — from 80 to 74%, in Russia — from 78 to 69 percent, and in Armenia from 56 to 46%. In almost all cases, the reduction of the level of support for Eurasian integration has occurred due to the growth of the share of related care, and in Armenia including at the expense of growth of negative evaluations (5 PP).

— “Honeymoon” Eurasian integration is over, — said the Director of the EDB Evgeny Vinokurov. — Citizens are beginning to assess the current condition, the concrete results of integration, how it affects their lives.

Experts interviewed by “Izvestia”, also consider that instead of the explosive effect from integration in the Customs Union 2012 came everyday problems that are associated with the global economic crisis.

— When shot barriers, the effect of this single space was visible and tangible. And this has led to the syndrome of exaggerated expectations — member countries considered that it will be even better. But there is always a limit to effects. The more that the global commodity crisis has led to deterioration in the economic condition that has given rise to frustration in many countries, — commented the head of Department of Central Asia and Kazakhstan of Institute of the CIS Andrey Grozin.

He notes that the similar situation is characteristic, in particular, for Kazakhstan.

— The crisis in world commodity markets has hit Kazakhstan more than in Russia. The country experienced two devaluations, a decline in social spending, rising prices. For the first time in recent history in Alma-ATA recorded drop in property prices. It is primarily hit the middle class that defines public opinion. While twenty years in the consciousness of Kazakhs it introduces the idea that oil will always be expensive, so obtained from the sale of money can solve any problem. When commodity prices fell, people felt the fracture, — said the expert.

However, he advises to pay attention to Kyrgyzstan, where the level of support is higher than in Kazakhstan. Andrei Grozin explained that the state has greatly benefited from accession to the EAEU at the level of human resources. Migrants from Kyrgyzstan received preferential treatment when applying for a job in countries belonging to the EAEC, including in Russia. Any quotas for citizens of the Republic to date do not exist, they can not buy patents to work, excused from taking the examination on knowledge of Russian language, history and laws of our country.

However, in this case there is a discrepancy between the exaggerated expectations that occurred after the fall of commodity prices. For example, the expert specifies, in Kyrgyzstan were convinced that an economic miracle will happen for the year. In other countries, problems arose from the decrease in turnover.

But this problem is not integration, and global economic processes. If the price of oil was at the same level, it would be more optimism. And the global economic situation is translated people in the area more realism, — said Andrei Grozin.

The decline of support in Armenia, the experts also attributed the changing economic situation.

— Joining the Union Armenia coincided with the deterioration of the socio-economic situation of Russia, from which that state varies greatly in terms of remittances and the exchange rate. The ruble has fallen, and no dramas, which led to a decrease in turnover. The state also was forced to devalue its currency. These disadvantages associated with the accession to the Union, — believes the expert of the Russian Institute of strategic studies Konstantin Tasits.

According to him, only now, when the flows began to recover, Armenia became noticeable and the advantages of participation in the Union. In addition, the expert notes that there is another aspect, why in this country more than in others, decreased support for Eurasian integration. He believes that this is due to the fact that Armenians regarded Russia as a political ally, so after the aggravation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh in April of this year, they expected that Russia will definitely advocate on their side.

— In this case Russia acted as a mediator in promoting a peaceful settlement of the conflict. It was used by various Pro-Western media pedaling and increase divisiveness, indicates Constantine TASIC.

However, he said, Russia supplied Armenia with high-precision weapons, which partly balanced the situation.

According to Konstantin TASIC, further integration will depend on how quickly our countries overcome socio-economic problems. According to experts, there remains very strong support for the integration process at the grassroots level by a large number of migrant workers and their families.

Andrei Grozin also confident that the prospects for integration are high, given the deep interlinkages with all the countries of the EEU. She, in particular, will contribute to the process of import substitution, not only in Russia but also in Kazakhstan and Belarus (and this country can benefit from the use of exemptions on raw materials and the Russian market). But the full effects should be expected not earlier than in five years. However, as the achievements of the Eurasian integration.

— The EEU is a young Union, in fact, the baby from which it is impossible to demand high achievements sports. And this realization is gradually coming in the participating countries, — says Andrei Grozin.

On prospects for expanding the EAEU due to new countries participating, says at least the fact that, for example, in Tajikistan, which is the most realistic candidate, public support for potential accession to the Union in 2016 was 68%. This level, according to the researchers, creates a comfortable environment for a potential political solution.