19 March 2018 at the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics, Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia) held a roundtable on the integration processes in Greater Eurasia, organized jointly with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (Boston, USA). The meeting was attended by students and experts from the Higher School of Economics, a delegation from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, as well as representatives of other universities and think tanks in Moscow.
Together with the experts, the participants discussed Russia’s vision and model of Eurasian integration, as well as its perception by United States. Later the discussion touched upon the prospects for cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with other regional associations and initiatives, in particular, the conjunction of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Maxim Bratersky, academic head , master’s program “International Relations in Eurasia”; Dmitry Suslov, deputy director, Center for Complex European and International Studies (CCEIS); Yuri Kofner, head, Eurasian sector, CCEIS, research scholar, IIASA; as well as Chris Miller, co-director, program “Russia and Eurasia”, Fletcher School.
In his report Maxim Bratersky noted that the EAEU is an economic block that will help the member states to have as say in the shaping of the global economy. Dmitry Suslov supported the opinion of his colleague, adding that the Eurasian Union is an integral part of the concept of Greater Eurasia in Russia’s foreign policy. He very compared economic integration in Greater Eurasia with a bowl of spaghetti, in which everything is heavily intermixed. Yuri Kofner, via a direct link from Vienna, in his report focused on the main challenges for closer integration within the EAEU – the difficulty of creating a common market for public procurement and the future of Russia’s economic policy (import substitution vs. liberalization). Chris Millerspoke about Washington’s dual vision of integration processes in Grearer Eurasia. In Washington there is a discrepancy in the interpretation of the EAEU and the BRI, highlighting the economic and political approaches to these projects.
The discussion was held in a lively atmosphere. More than 40 students and young researchers were able to take part in it. The discussion lasted more than two hours, but even during that time, not all the issues could be discussed.