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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he wants to bring ex-Soviet states into a "Eurasian Union" in an article which outlined his first foreign policy initiative as he prepares to return to the Kremlin as the country's next president.
"We are not going to stop there and are setting an ambitious goal -- to achieve an even higher integration level in the Eurasian Union," Putin wrote in an article which will be published in Izvestia newspaper on October 4.
Putin's initiative comes as Russia nears the end of its 18-year-old negotiations to join the World Trade Organization. In the article Putin made no secret of his skepticism about the global trade watchdog.
In 2009, Putin threw Russia's bid to join the WTO into disarray, saying Russia would instead form the Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. The new initiative will have to be explained to WTO members.
Some of Russian's neighbors were unwilling to commit to integration because this appeared to contradict their decision to build ties with Europe.
But this was a wrong choice, he wrote. He argued that the Customs Union and in future the Eurasian Union would be the European Union's partner in talks over the creation of a common economic space, guaranteeing its members a stronger voice.
"Membership in the Eurasian Union, apart from direct economic benefits, will enable its members to integrate into Europe faster and from a much stronger position."
Vladimir Vladimirovitch is dreaming. Maybe a few of the ex-soviet states will swim along with that, but I lived in Moldova for over 6 years and it will be a cold day in hell before they fold back into that trap. Most Moldovans detest the Russian political elite and for good reason.
it will be a cold day in hell before they fold back into that trap. Most Moldovans detest the Russian political elite and for good reason.