The signing of the Strategic Economic Partnership of the CIS states is one of the main outcomes of the Summit of the CIS Heads of State. According to experts, this document, developed on the initiative of Turkmenistan, is intended to give the economic interaction of the CIS countries a strategic, i.e., a decisive character.
It does not mean at all that the economic partnership within the framework of the Commonwealth would be developed to the detriment of cooperation with non-CIS States. During the Summit, it was stated many times that the development of strategic partnership in the CIS should promote the economic cooperation of the Commonwealth states with third countries.
Thus, the Ashgabat Declaration, as the goals of strategic economic partnership of the CIS member states, defines its integration (as well as the integration of each of the CIS member states) into the world economic relations as the space on which the main transport and energy projects are carried out.
In addition, the document says, the creation of effective partnership mechanisms based on the economic interest of the CIS member states and third countries and/or international organizations is one of the tasks of economic partnership of the CIS states.
Thus, according to the document, strategic, economic partnership in the CIS and interaction with third countries and international organizations are called upon not to limit, but to upgrade each other.
It should be admitted that the CIS is not considered in the world as a consolidated economic alliance like, say, the European Union or ASEAN. Economic cooperation within the CIS is developing, but it has not yet acquired a strategic character.
It would not be a mistake to say that, in the CIS, the historical, cultural and humanitarian ties are stronger than economic ones. While the economic benefits, expedience should be the main feature of any union of states.
A common history, friendship, fraternity are very important and very necessary, but this may not be enough for states to unite in an alliance. To make a union of states to be strong, it is necessary any membership in this union to have its economically sound.
I would believe that the adoption of the Strategic Economic Partnership of the CIS states, which has been initiated by Ashgabat, is a step towards the expectations that in the CIS, finally, the economy would become a decisive, as it should be.
Let us have a look to the history of the most successful union of modern states – the European Union. During the post-war period, some nations of destroyed Europe decided to create the European Coal and Steel Community, which was declared to be “a first step in the federation of Europe”. Then the European Economic Community was established, an internal single market was developed and so on. The Community has grown in size by the accession of new member states. Still, a number of states has intension to join the EU. Why? Because it is economically beneficial to be a member of the European Union.
The Commonwealth of Independent States is quite capable to create such strong a union of countries. The main thing is not to delay the implementation of the provisions of the Declaration on Strategic Economic Partnership of the CIS states adopted in Ashgabat.