The Eurasian Integration as an Instrument of Soft Power
in the Context of the Current Russian-Ukrainian Conflict
της Aleksandra Khramova
While the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine is only escalating and it seems that a peaceful resolution is far, it becomes more important to understand the reasons for this escalation. There is a great debate about the factors for the present Russian-Ukrainian fighting. Among them are geopolitical,1 political,2 economic,3 and even psychological— related to the personality of President Putin.4 However, there is one, not quite obvious reason for that; that is the systematic weakness of Russia’s soft power policy both at the global and even regional level. When the country cannot convince other countries to take into account its opinion on issues of geopolitical security, when the international law is not to be relied on anymore, when the economic tools do not work even at the regional level, it has to resort to force.
Since the beginning of the 2000s— consciously or not— Russia defined Eurasian integration as an instrument of soft power. Russia proclaimed Eurasian economic integration as a project of uniting national economies and people through trade and business toward prosperity.5 The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) ought to be as attractive in the future for the whole Eurasian post-Soviet region as the European Union is for its neighbor countries. The hypothesis of this article is that the current model of Eurasian integration is ineffective and needs to be revised since it does not contain all the necessary elements of soft power. The aim is to find the missing elements in order to construct the foundations for the new concept directed toward the peaceful coexistence of peoples in the Eurasian space, both in interests of Russia and of other countries within the Eurasian region in the future.
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Φωτογραφία: “CSTO summit”, by The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office is marked with CC BY 4.0.
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