In the framework of the Russia-ASEAN summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the countries that have shown interest in cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union have been able to achieve growth in trade turnover with the EEU countries. The Eurasian Economic Union and a number of ASEAN countries are discussing the establishment of free trade zones. In addition, the pairing of integrational processes of associations in general is on the agenda, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev added. The desire to create a free trade zone with the EEU has been expressed by more than 40 countries and international organizations, including Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Israel, and an agreement on the creation of a free trade zone was signed last year with Vietnam.
Explaining the need for the formation of the EEU, director of the Center for Political Conjuncture, political scientist Sergey Mikheyev expressed the opinion that it became answer to the inability of the new leader of the world, the United States and its allies, to organize a new world: "After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were many illusions about the fact that now the world will be different, now everyone will really find their prosperous place in it, now it will be calm, because there is no threat of conflict, and much, much more. But the West wasn't even planning to do this, or missed its historic chance to really make the world better. This is the reason for the idea of dealing with our own destiny by ourselves. The EEU is a decision to take our destiny into our own hands and not wait for the great and mighty West to decide on everything for us and give us a good life. By the end of the 90s, a final sobering in the brains of many post-Soviet elites happened, and especially in Russia. So the EEU is primarily an attempt to control our own future. Because the future that the West offers us is, to put it mildly, not so enviable."
Mikheyev emphasized that the Eurasian Union has emerged as an idea of a better future for the future generations: "We ruined a lot, and the responsibility for this destruction also lies with us and on our shoulders. It's time to work, so that our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren could have a better future, and not only a future as watchmen or dishwashers somewhere in Europe, America, and so on. The EEU idea came from this, and not due to the fact that, as we are accused of sometimes, we plan to revive the Soviet Union and are interested in global dominance."
At the same time, according to the expert, it was the West that imposed a conflict paradigm of behavior in the form of "Eastern Partnership": "Europe basically has no adequate offer for the majority of the countries that it is trying to pull into the orbit of its influence. Show me successfully working economic models, proposed by the EU in the post-Soviet space. Are the Baltic States a model? Where 30-40% of the population left for permanent residence and now wander around Europe? Georgia and Ukraine also cannot be called successful model.
In most cases, the most successful solution lies in compromise, in agreements, in finding the most flexible option for the development. The question is in determining proportions. I think that today we are looking for this golden proportion between the relations within the framework of the EEU and not breaking or blocking relations with the West. Because I can assure you that no one here in Russia actually has any desire to start a war for world supremacy with the West. We existed for many centuries before the United States even appeared, so we have other meanings in life."