Your Thoughts on the Eurasian Union
By Bryan Caplan
Three days ago Russian, Kazakhstan, and Belarus formed the Eurasian Union, designed to do for the former Soviet bloc what the EU did for Europe:
[E]xperts stated that apart from post-Soviet states, membership to the
Eurasian Union could be expanded to include other countries that have
been historically or culturally close, such as Finland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Mongolia,
incorporating them into a common state body where Russian would be the
common language of communication and economic cooperation. According to Vladimir Putin, the Eurasian Union would build upon the “best values of the Soviet Union.”
My knee-jerk reaction is to scream “Yikes!” or worse. But should I? Consider these scenarios:
1. The Eurasian Union creates another large free trade – and eventual free migration – zone with little downside.
2. The Eurasian Union turns out to be a largely meaningless symbol. Members countries do what they would have done anyway.
3. The Eurasian Union is a mixed bag of trade liberalization, needless bureaucracy, and anti-Western rhetoric.
4. The Eurasian Union resurrects the Soviet bloc in diluted form.
Putin’s horrifying rhetoric aside, my considered prediction is that the Eurasian Union turns out to be a mix of #2 and #3. What do you think?