Dhaka Courier

The Eurasian Economic Union

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The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic union of states located in central and northern Asia and Eastern Europe. The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union was signed on 29 May 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and came into force on 1 January 2015.

In 2000 six states created the EEU’s predecessor, the Eurasian Economic Community. In 2010 three core states (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) pursued integration and founded the Eurasian Customs Union and the “Single Economic Space”. The three states are the founding members of the Eurasian Economic Union. The remaining states have acceded in subsequent enlargements.

On 9 October 2014 Armenia signed the treaty and became the newest member state of the EEU on its accession on 2 January 2015. Kyrgyzstan signed an accession treaty on 23 December 2014, which came into force on 6 August 2015.

Iran joined into a free trade agreement with the EEU on 24 April 2018, following months of negotiations with Russia. In the initial phase Iran will sell some 350 items to the bloc while another 180 items will be available in the Iranian market.

In order to accede, a state must fulfill the economic and political requirements. Enlargement of the Union is also subject to the consent of all existing members and the candidate’s adoption of the existing body of EEU law and implementing previous decisions made by the Eurasian Commission, which become part of the EEU’s regulatory framework.

Mongolia is a landlocked country in East Asia. Its area is roughly equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, and that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state. It is sandwiched between Russia to the north and China to the south, where it neighbours the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, although only 37 kilometres separates them.

At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 18th-largest and the most sparsely populated sovereign state in the world, with a population of around only three million people. It is also the world’s second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan and the largest landlocked country.  The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by grassy steppe, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south.

Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, is home to about 45% of the country’s population of Ulaanbaatar also shares the rank of the world’s coldest capital city with Moscow and Ottawa, Approximately 30% of the population of Mongolia is nomadic or semi-nomadic; horse riding  is still integral part of its culture. The majority of its population is Buddhists. The non-religious population is the second largest group. Islam is the second largest religion. The majority of the state’s citizens is of Mongol ethnicity, although Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west.

Mongolia joined the World Trade Organization in 1997 and seeks to expand its participation in regional economic and trade groups.

The area of what is now Mongolia has been ruled by various nomadic empires, including the Xiongnu, the Xianbei, the Rouran, the Turkic Khaganate, and others. In 1206, Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous land empire in history. His grandson Kublai Khan conquered China to establish the Yuan dynasty. After the collapse of the Yuan, the Mongols retreated to Mongolia and resumed their earlier pattern of factional conflict, except during the era of Dayan Khan and Tumen Zasagt Khan.

In the 16th century, Tibetan Buddhism began to spread in Mongolia, being further led by the Manchu-founded Qing dynasty, which absorbed the country in the 17th century. By the early 1900s, almost one-third of the adult male population were Buddhist monks.  After the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911, Mongolia declared independence, and achieved actual independence from the Republic of China in 1921.

Shortly thereafter, the country came under the control of the Soviet Union, which had aided its independence from China. In 1924, the Mongolian People’s Republic was founded as a socialist state.

 After the anti-Communist revolutions of 1989, Mongolia conducted its own peaceful democratic revolution in early 1990. This led to a multi-party system, a new constitution of 1992, and transition to a market economy.

It may be recalled that In the chaos of the late 12th century, a chieftain named Temüjin finally succeeded in uniting the Mongol tribes between Manchuria and the Altai Mountains. In 1206, he took the title Genghis Khan, and waged a series of military campaigns – renowned for their brutality and ferocity – sweeping through much of Asia, and forming the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous land empire in world history. Under his successors it stretched from present-day Poland in the west to Korea in the east, and from Siberia in the north to the Gulf of Oman and Vietnam in the south, covering some 33,000,000 square kilometres (13,000,000 sq miles.  This was 22% of Earth’s total land area and had a population of over 100 million people (about a quarter of Earth’s total population at the time).

After the expulsion of the Yuan dynasty rulers from China, the Mongols continued to rule their homeland, known as the Northern Yuan dynasty. The next centuries were marked by violent power struggles among various factions, notably the Genghisids and the non-Genghisid Oirats, as well as by several Chinese invasions (such as the five expeditions led by the Yongle Emperor).

In the early 15th century, the Oirads under Esen Tayisi gained the upper hand, and raided China in 1449 in a conflict over Esen’s right to pay tribute, capturing the Ming emperor in the process. When Esen was murdered in 1454, the Borjigids regained power.

In the early 16th century, Dayan Khan and his khatun Mandukhai reunited the entire Mongol nation. In the mid-16th century, Altan Khan of the Tümed, a grandson of Dayan Khan – but not a hereditary or legitimate Chenghis Khan – became powerful. He founded Hohhot in 1557. After he met with the Dalai Lama in 1578, he ordered the introduction of Tibetan Buddhism to Mongolia.

Abtai Khan of the Khalkha converted to Buddhism and founded the Erdene Zuu monastery in 1585. His grandson Zanabazar became the first Jebtsundamba Khutughtu in 1640. Following the leaders, the entire Mongolian population embraced Buddhism. Each family kept scriptures and Buddha statues on an altar at the north side of their “ger (yurt)”. Mongolian nobles donated land, money and herders to the monasteries.

 As was typical in states with established religions, the top religious institutions, the monasteries, wielded significant temporal power in addition to spiritual power.  This is great tradition which even continues even to-day in some states and the prospective members to the organization are known to be Mongolia, Syria and Tajikistan.

Barrister Harun ur Rashid, Former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN, Geneva.

  • The Eurasian Economic Union
  • Barrister Harun ur Rashid
  • Vol 35
  • Issue 51
  • DhakaCourier

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