Article by: Vitaliy Portnikov
Recently there was an article in the British newspaper The Independent that argued that the economies of the BRIC countries, which claimed to become the alternative to the most developed countries of the world, are experiencing difficult times.
Russia, in fact, is on the verge of collapse because of oil prices and the confrontation with the West. Brazil is boiling over with massive riots. South Africa is embroiled in corruption scandals. In China the inevitable slowdown in economic growth has begun. Only India is showing any positive economic indicators. Therefore, “it’s all over for the BRICS countries now,” the article’s author concludes logically.
The situation is similar in the Eurasian Union. The current collapse of the tenge in Kazakhstan indicates that the country’s economy, which is considered the most stable among the Eurasian Union members, is experiencing difficult times. President Nursultan Nazarbayev yesterday warned his fellow citizens that they would need to prepare themselves not so much to live as to survive. The question is what were the famous Kazakh economic reforms worth if they ultimately still led to such a collapse. Moreover, in Astana they are pointing out that this collapse is still not a collapse. And that the government will intervene when the “real” hard times arrive.
So, what do we have in the Eurasian Union? Russia, whose economy depends entirely on oil prices and is dying before our eyes? Belarus, which is completely dependent on Russia and its subsidies? Kazakhstan, which similarly has not withstood the drop in the price of crude? Armenia and Kyrgyzstan — countries that simply do not have any kind of economy? This is precisely the union that Ukraine was supposed to end up with. It is true that in this union of beggar dictators under Yanukovych we would have appeared no worse than others. But what is the point of wallowing in the mud your whole life without having even the ghostly chance to clean up?
I will not claim that we have already washed off all the dirt. But, at least, we have a chance. And those drowning in the post-Soviet mud will not pull us to the bottom but will drown themselves. This is the fate of all dictators and all irresponsible societies — to sink, destroying the future for themselves, their own children and grandchildren, and their own country.
We have a chance to emerge.