Image by : Wang Zhao/ Reuters
Russia has joined hands with China for the Belt and Road Initiative. Russia’s geopolitical aims include containing the influence of the US and its allies in the region and maintaining the status quo, which for Russia means preserving secular and authoritarian post-Soviet leaders and ensuring that the region remains within its sphere of influence. Hence, the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a union of former USSR countries which includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia as member states. The main aim of this initiative is to regulate economic activity over these territories by eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers, and introduce free movement of goods, capital, services and people. In 2015, Russia and China signed the agreement on cooperation between EAEU and the BRI.