Putin Creates Eurasian Economic Union

    Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev (C) and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko stand for a photograph before a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union in Astana May 29, 2014.  The presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed a treaty on Thursday creating a vast trading bloc which they hope will challenge the economic might of the United States, the European Union and China. The treaty forging the Eurasian Economic Union will come into force on Jan. 1, once it has passed the formality of being approved by the three former Soviet republics' parliaments. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (KAZAKHSTAN - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR3RC7A

    Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti, via Reuters

    Vladimir Putin has finally realized his dream of a Eurasian economic trade pact. The only problem is that it is made up of just three countries—Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. On Thursday, the presidents of the three nations signed an agreement to create an economic union. The glaring omission from the new trade union is Ukraine, which did not join and would have enhanced the strength of the group. “Today we are creating a powerful, attractive center of economic development, a big regional market that unites more than 170 million people,” Putin said. However, considering Putin wanted an eastern version of the 28-member European Union, it’s a bit of a joke. Plus, just before signing, Belarus got a $2 billion loan and energy concessions from Russia.

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