Valdai Paper #85: Infrastructure Connectivity and Political Stability in Eurasia

08.05.2018

The country’s geographic location largely predetermines its foreign policy, as well as the trajectory of its socioeconomic development. However, even the most negative geographical limitations can be overcome via connectivity and compatibility that are the passport to the success of Eurasian integration. 

Today, geographical connectivity, which is about physical infrastructure, and geographical compatibility, which implies institutional and political frameworks, have assumed greater importance to allow free movement of goods and people. Overcoming geographical limitations, they advance common interests, thus increasing stability and reducing potential for the conflict. 

Every integration project, namely the EU, the Belt and Road Initiative or the EAEU, has occupied its own niche. In order to make the Eurasian space really connected and compatible all the way from Shanghai to Lisbon the projects have to cooperate. In this way, the agreement on adjusting the EAEU with the Silk Road Economic Belt as well as the prospective EU–China compatibility platform are the part of the process. 

The next step could be the framework between the EU and the EAEU. The main beneficiary of such cooperation would be Eastern Europe that have already been affected by the processes in Eurasia. For instance, the Chinese 16+1 initiative that has the potential to modify the customary binary pattern of politics in Eastern Europe that is Russia vs. West dilemma. 

Nevertheless, any project requires minimal conditions to be met, such as trust and efficient communication between participants, which are so lacking today. Even the most ambitious and well-resourced projects can fade out under the pressure of existing problems and differences.


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