While the government is busy with identification of advantages and disadvantages of entering the CU, social influence is characterized by negative consequences and, it is safe to say, that our republic will face considerable losses and risks in political sphere.
First of all, it concerns Kyrgyzstan’s sovereignty and freedom. Membership in any union organization involves certain (partial or full in some cases) loss of the sovereignty, because decisions are made by supranational bodies that leads to narrowing of the scope of questions, accepting by national structures chosen by citizens. As practice shows the process of making decisions in the CU the members of which has authoritarian regime, don’t provide transparency, involvement and hearings of public organizations, citizens, when the decision is made by small coterie of people (presidents). That’s why we can’t say beforehand about democracy and justice of such decisions.
Moreover, the question is too topical for Kyrgyzstan because our economy is 310 times weaker than Russian’s, 31 times – than Kazakhstan’s and 10 times – than of Belarus. For providing partnership in the framework of the union, the states should be, at least, economically equal. Otherwise, the countries with more developed economy will dominate and dictate terms to economically less developed countries.
For example, there is no hegemon of one republic in the European Union. The largest economy represented by Germany doesn’t have even one third of the whole EU economy. However, sizes of economies in the CU strikingly differs one from another. Having economy incomparable with other states of the CU, Kyrgyzstan won’t be able to protect its own interests. Striking example is adoption of Road map on KR accession tothe CU in December 2013, when the document was adopted by its incumbent members without consideration of our republic’s opinion. We can easily imagine that becoming the member of the CU, Kyrgyzstan will be subjected to many of such defeats.
Remember that recently voting distribution in supreme body of the CU (the CU Commission) was unequal, when Russia possessed 57 percent; Kazakhstan and Belarus – only 21.5 percent. Such principle was changed only in the latest years. But the fact that Russia originally implied such unfair approach shows its striving for dominating in this union, promotion of its own interests and detriment of other countries if it is needed.
Probably, negotiation process on entering the CU will be more or less compliant from Russia’s side, the motive power of the union, because it is necessary to widen its area of influence in post Soviet countries and using the CU, if it is possible. Russia is ready to pay great sum of money for these steps, but these are Russia’s interests. As for Kyrgyzstan, after entering the CU, it will be subjected to subjugation, pressure from other members of the CU. The CU is planned to be restructured in Eurasian Economic Union, and in 6-10 years – in Eurasian Union. In such scenario, the members of these unions will have to devolve their power on supranational bodies. It means that none of the states will be able to regulate its own inner policy independently; the same is with foreign policy. It threatens even greater loss of sovereignty of the KR. It’s fair to assume that decisions will be made by Moscow, and Kyrgyzstan will have to agree with these decisions. The sale of many national infrastructural networks (gas, electricity, transport) to Russian enterprises will favor Kyrgyzstan becoming more compliant and, if needed, to manipulate Kyrgyzstan. Our political leaders, unfortunately, have only short-term goals and gave many strategic, essential objects to our neighbor, they created good levers of pressure.
Moreover, world practice shows that strong countries not only spread democracy, but also successfully promote authoritarianism. Democratic system of governing in Kyrgyzstan keeping by parliamentary presidential system is out of the CU members’ favor for many reasons. First of all, they will have to come to agreement with several decision making centers (the president, the parliament and the government depending on its membership). Such format will irritate our neighbors because it won’t guarantee favorable result of decisions, it will require more costs and time for negotiating with all the parties. So, the CU members will force our government to weaken the role of the parliament by transforming it into rubber-stamping one and giving to the president the sole right to decide many issues. And then Kyrgyzstan again will be on the road to authoritarian regime development. Kyrgyzstanis know to what authoritarianism leads (coup d’état, deduction of economic recourses in the hands of group of people, non-rivalry elections, pressure on Mass Media, impairment of rights on freedom of speech, demos).
Such situation is connected with social backset of citizens which is predicted after entering the CU, probably, will lead to another unrest which will threat to integrity of the union. Stability is the main thing in the CU. That’s why the CU members must incur costs (economic, informational) in order not to allow such events happen in Kyrgyzstan. Because they will have to deal with not only obedient president, as in other states, but also with the parliament, civil society, media community and free citizens.
We can also expect that our current political elite will try to get more seats in the parliament on the next elections in order to keep their power and having examined lessons of the parliament. Such scenario will be welcomed by the CU members in order to transfer the parliament in obedient to the president body, generously supporting electoral process.
It is also should be noted that democratic governance is unfavorable for state-members from the image point of view. Considering freedom of speech, demos, unions existing in our country, criticism towards the CU’s activity will be poured all the time that will urge foreign west Mass Media and their governments on bringing up the issue on expedience and inefficiency of the UN work. Moreover, the opposition in the CU countries (for instance, Kazakhstan) operating with these arguments will be able to effort not satisfied by the CU policy businessmen, manufacturers, citizens. That’s why the CU members strive for nonadmission of development of such scenario in our country by strengthening presidential government and reducing the role of democratic institutions.
We can preserve our sovereignty only by continuing our multiple-vector foreign policy, which we adhere to till nowadays. Multi-vector nature, collaboration with different states is the CU alternative. Only in such policy other countries, big or small, will consider Kyrgyzstan as sovereign and equitable partner.
First of all Kyrgyzstan must fight against with its inner problems (corruption, providence of effective state governance, creation of favorable investment climate) in order to become economically strong, politically independent and flourishing state and not be enticed with different kinds of foreign projects of other countries.
Aida Alymbaeva, independent expert