Having exposed his presidential ambitions, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spoke about the prospects for creating the Eurasian union on post-Soviet space. The Western media have already dubbed Putin's new initiative as an attempt to recreate the USSR.
Putin wrote in his article that he had written for the Izvestia newspaper that the point of view shared by the Western press was naïve.
The prospective union will not be a new USSR or a replacement for the CIS, but an effective link between Europe and the Asia Pacific region, an association with close coordination of the economic and currency policies, Vladimir Putin wrote.
"The establishment of a customs union and common economic space lays the foundation for a future Eurasian economic union," Putin said. "We set ourselves an ambitious task: to reach a higher integration level."
"It is an open project," the premier said, adding that "other partners are welcome to join it."
Putin voiced the plans about the creation of the Eurasian union in July, during the forum of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
According to Putin, the Eurasian Union would be the next, higher level of integration, which already takes place within the framework of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The CEP will be launched on January 1, 2012. It will create a huge market with more than 165 million consumers. For comparison, the population of 27 countries of the European Union makes up nearly 500 million people.
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