Lately, I’ve seen a number of comments in the Media suggesting that Russia ought to just join the European Union and then, assuming the remaining former Soviet Republics would too, that would unite all of Europe. To me, that just wouldn’t make sense. The
E. U. is currently not a Union in any sense of the word: it’s just 28 countries that meet, greet, talk and, then, return home. Adding more divergent views wouldn’t help.
Russia has a population of roughly half of the rest of Europe combined, and three and one-half times that of Germany, the most populated nation in the E. U. The European land mass pales quite significantly when compared to Russia’s. But, the economic considerations are really more blatant reasons why such a European expansion just wouldn’t work.
The Gross Domestic Product of Russia, although reasonably large for a Developing Country, is substantially less than that of the larger economies in Europe. And, once you compare the GDP per capita–which eliminates the impact of its sizable population–Russia’s is much smaller than that of, let’s say, Germany, France, U. K., etc. So, that raises the question of whether Russia would join a Club in which it was merely a bit player? And, would President Vladimir Putin be willing to go along with that?
When you factor in the lack of marketability of the Ruble, the dysfunctional financial markets, high Inflation and the poor coordination between Monetary and Fiscal Policy, Russia still remains a financial basket case. And, would it immediately lobby to join the Eurozone–which already has considerable problems–in order to gain access to a convertible currency–the EURO?