by James M. Roberts, Ariel Cohen, Jonathan Blaisdell
The Heritage Foundation
November 27, 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking economic and political alliances to counterbalance the influence of the U.S., the European Union, China, and transnational Islamism. Putin is determined to strengthen Moscow’s hegemony in the “near abroad”—the post-Soviet space. One of the instruments he has created to achieve that strategic objective is the Russia-dominated Eurasian Union (EAU). EAU membership would not only undermine the South Caucasus’s Western-oriented path, further eroding Armenia’s, Azerbaijan’s, and Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and political orientation, but could also have negative spillover effects on European security, trade, and investment. It will affect an area of the world that is vital to the economic and national security interests of the West. The U.S. and Europe have little time, then, to form a common strategy and cooperate to balance Russia’s geopolitical offensive and protect their interests.