УДК 341.24


Ермолина Марина Анатольевна
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет
кандидат юридических наук, факультет международных отношений, кафедра мировой политики, доцент, участник реализации магистерской программы «Международное сотрудничество в области окружающей среды и развития» которая включает в качестве основных аспектов такие как: устойчивое развитие, экологическое законодательство, экологическая политика

В статье анализируются правовые аспекты участия России в международном сотрудничестве со странами Евразийского региона по вопросам охраны окружающей среды и устойчивого развития. Автором исследуются экологические и экономические аспекты взаимодействия государств, анализируются международные соглашения, международные документы Евразийского экономического сообщества и делаются выводы о перспективных направлениях международного сотрудничества России в области охраны окружающей среды.

Ключевые слова: Ключевые слова: евразийская интеграция, охрана окружающей среды, природопользование, регионализм, устойчивое развитие, экологическая политика, экологические проблемы, экологическое законодательство


Ermolina Marina Anatolievna
St. Petersburg State University
PhD in Juridical Science, Associate professor, School of International Relations, Мember of the faculties’ group of a master program “International cooperation in the field of environment and development” which includes such aspects as sustainable development, environmental law, environmental policy

The author analyses, in particular, some legal aspects of Russia’s participation in interna-tional co-operation with some countries of Eurasian region in terms of environmental protection and sustainable development. Consideration is given also to ecological and economic aspects of interrelation between the states, and assessed are foreign agreements and relevant documents is-sued by the Eurasian Economic Community. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to promising trends of international co-operation of Russia with the countries of Eurasian region in the matters of environmental control.

Библиографическая ссылка на статью:
Ермолина М.А. Russia’s participation in international co-operation in the field of environmental control in terms of eurasian economic integration // Политика, государство и право. 2015. № 3 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: https://politika.snauka.ru/2015/03/2673 (дата обращения: 15.05.2024).

Until recent times the beginning of the 21st century was thought to be associated with some prospects of forming up global management institutions [1]. With this regard the United Nations Organization turned out to be of great importance [7]; for its activities in the recent years have been aimed at solving such a set of problems that mankind had to face on the verge of a millennium [10].

And yet, as seen from the UN international conferences on environmental control and sustainable development, which were held in a decade from 1992 through 2012, the reports that the world community presented on the measures taken and the ensuing results, as far as ‘Rio+10’ and ‘Rio+20’ are concerned, can hardly contribute in making any serious progress in settling the accumulated social, economic and ecological problems on an international scale. The contradictions that people find in the context of economic growth, social wealth and economic well-being cannot be settled, as long as a straight way to solve them at international or national levels is not known yet.

Nowadays the politicians and scientists of various countries give, now and then, reasonable doubts with respect to the efficiency of so-called ‘joint efforts’ of the world community [6], showing preference for a regional co-operation approach [9]. Such co-operation is, practically, transboundary in nature and involves a membership in regional organizations, hence -numerous agreements, most of them implying economic aspects.

Integration policy which the member-countries of the European Union, with its efforts directed originally towards the Common Market, stuck to for several decades, seemed rather successful. In the recent years, however, the system turned out to be a bit too frail, for not all the member-countries of the European Union could be able to keep up a proper level of their membership under unfavorable economic circumstances.

In the meantime the European Union’s ecological policy was accepted as a standard for activities in environmental control on a regional scale. Other countries that chose a regional integration pattern must, therefore, direct their attention towards the European Union’s ecological policy. As for the Russian Federation, Eurasian integration becomes of particular importance in this very respect, and correspondingly such notion as ‘neighbourhood’ acquires a new meaning and connotation.

Co-operation between the former USSR countries commenced already in 1992 when the Commonwealth of Independent States (hereinafter referred to as CIS) was established, including originally Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Basic goals for establishing the CIS were worded in Clause 2 of the CIS Charter. These included, namely:  joint efforts in terms of politics, economics and ecology, as well as in humanitarian, cultural and other spheres;  overall and well-balanced economical and social development of the member-countries within the common economic space;  intergovernmental co-operation and integration, et al.

Since then the CIS has approved various documents concerning the problems in terms of environmental control and sustainable development, though already at the very beginning regional co-operation consisted directly in economic development. Like it was pointed out in one of the CIS documents – “… most close attention is focused on economic aspects of environmental protection: A task group carries out monitoring of the circulation map in terms of principal ecological problems of unifying the markets of electric power industry.” In 2007 the CIS member-countries drew up a draft of a model ecological code, which, however, never came into force.

Starting its actual activity on January 1, 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) [4], enlisted wherein are Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, apart from other goals, commits itself “to bring together and harmonize the legislation systems of the states”. Like in case of establishing the European Union, however, a basic idea was to stick to mutual economic interaction [5]. As it was said in the Treaty on establishing the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) on October 10, 2000, the countries that signed it “would do their best to coordinate the launched social and economic changes in various spheres”. And again, here the co-operation of the member-countries consisted largely in “coordinating the ways of approaching while integrating into world economy and international trade system”.

Very important steps in the EAEC’s policy in the matters of nature management and environment protection included initiation of a Eurasian Customs Union (CU) by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in 2010, formation of a Common Economic Space in 2012 (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), and also a Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). On January 20, 2011, an Environmental Control Board was set up under the Integration Committee of the EAEC, the Board’s members including the chiefs of nature conservation organizations of the EAEC’s member-countries. Though only recently the co-operation in environment protection and sustainable development was launched as a promising aspect in the policy of the EAEC member-countries, they have already managed to outline principal steps in this field.

Just because Russian Federation borders directly on Belorussia and Kazakhstan, drawing up the documents and bilateral treaties between these countries has served as an important basis for a regional ecological program in terms of Eurasian integration. Cited here should be, for example, a treaty between the governments of RF and Republic of Belorussia on co-operation in environmental control (Frame Agreement dated July 05, 1994), two agreements between the governments of RF and Kazakhstan on joint utilization and protection of transbordering water bodies (the first signed on August 27, 1992, terminated on September 7, 2010, the second one signed on September 7, 2010, and still in force), finally, a treaty (signed on September 15, 2010) on creating a transborder reserve area called ‘Altai’.

In the lapse of one year, 2014, the CIS member-countries adopted into practice several so-called ‘model’ laws, namely: “On rational utilization and protection of transbordering waters”, “On ecological insurance”, and “On ecologically safe agroindustry”, as well as blueprints for a “Treaty on co-operation of EAEC member-countries in environmental control” and a “Plan of procedures aimed to realize fundamental principal steps of co-operation between the EAEC member-countries in environmental control in a period from 2014 through 2015 and for the years to come”.

It may be thus concluded that in the recent years certain joint efforts have been made by member-countries of international agencies in creating a modern and effective regulatory basis for maintaining environmental control, rational utilization of natural resources and ensured ecological safety. Every state has either drawn up an environment control law, or has made changes in the currently-in-force law, so that to more energetically put into practice more efficient approaches in managing the reserves of the nature and their quality.

As it was, however, pointed out by the representatives of the EAEC member-countries at one of the recent conferences, amount of investments into ecological projects is far from being enough, when compared to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the EAEC countries. No wonder, the representatives of the EAEC member-countries expressed much anxiety over this fact [8].

A decision on establishing a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), signed by Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia in Astana on May 29, 2011, gave a good creative push to advancing the economic relationships of the listed countries. Needless to say, this organization is pursuing solely economic goals. Yet, in the course of time, ecological co-operation may well be possible and necessary, as it is known from the previous experience of the European Union.

It is really worthwhile to coordinate joint activities in environment protection and utilization of natural resources, because the territories of the former Soviet Union’s republics which transformed successively into the member-countries of the CIS, Eurasian Economic Community and Eurasian Economic Union, cover huge areas rich in natural resources. Water bodies within the territories in question are intergovernmental and transborder in nature. Consequently, air mass motions may entail transregional and transborder atmospheric pollution.

Recently several countries, and among them Brazil, China, India, Iran, Viet Nam, South Korea and others, declared they would also like to accede to economic co-operation within the frames of Eurasian integration. An important thing about this fact is that some of those countries have been, and still are, partners of Russia in several bilateral treaties on environmental control activities [3].

Thus, Russia and China signed several treaties for co-operation in: environmental protection (1994), Lake Khanka reserve area (1995), monitoring a joint protection of tigers (1997), and in rational utilization and protection of transborder water bodies (2008). Russia and Korea are contractors in the agreements on co-operation in controlling the ambiance (1994), in protecting migrating birds (1994), in the field of preventing illegal, secret and uncontrollable fisheries (2009). Finally, there was a treaty between Russia and India on protection of the ambiance and natural resources (1994) [2         ].

It should be pointed out that the countries participating in these international agreements are situated in different geologic and geographic zones. Hence, special survey of ecology and nature management are needed. And indeed, the EAEC member-countries vary greatly in terms of ecology and this must be taken into account, otherwise it will be hardly possible to formulate a common solution to ecological problems. As a matter of fact, it turned out to be so that we succeeded to various economic and ecological problems of the USSR’s past period in the vast post-Soviet territories.

Talking about the EAEC member-countries’ home strategies – and we mean here ecological priorities in terms of providing a human’s right to live in favorable ambiance and to rationally utilize the natural resources – economical and, partly, technological mechanisms become to be predominant factors in the EAEC’s policy. And indeed, success in social and ecological development of any member-country of the EAEC is likely to be reached only in case a coutry is going to introduce into practice new ecology-oriented approaches, innovations in technology and engineering included. However, as the practice of making use of ecology on a global scale have shown, any innovation must pass, so to say, a test for an ecological risk level. A good example – an ever-increasing practice of extracting pyroschist oil and gas. Even in the USA, a recognized pioneer of ‘pyroschist revolution’, ecologists still manage to publish the warnings that long-time extraction of oil and gas from pyroschists needs a careful study, and at least certain limits ought to be set on this process.

Summing up, it is absolutely right to formulate a motto like this: “To think ecologically is to act economically”. Yet, no proper attention so far has been paid to it in the relevant documents of the EAEC. It is generally known that a biosphere is boundless and regional integration cannot, therefore, be limited by local impact only – pollutants of any kind, or hazardous to any extent, may be well transported for several thousand kilometers. From the above it follows that Russia has a good motive to conclude agreements on environmental control and rational utilization of natural reserves within the framework of Eurasian integration with any countries that Russia has already reached, or will shortly come to, a settlement on economic matters.

  1. N.A. Vasilieva, M.L. Lagutina. A global Eurasian region: an experience of theoretical judgement of social and political integration / N.A. Vasilieva, M.L. Lagutina. – SPb: Politechnical University Press, 2012, p. 37.
  2. E.A. Vystorbets, R.I. Dolgikh. Bilateral treaties of Russia on natural protection. M. – Ufa: MIRmpOS, Centre of international ecological law, Eurasian NIIPP, 2012.
  3. Comparative table showing predictions in social and economic development for the member-countries of the Eurasian Customs Union within the Common Economic Space (CES) for a long-range outlook (as of December of 2012). URL: http://www.eurasiancommission.org/ru/act/integr_i_makroec/dep_makroec_pol/investigations/Documents/comp_an_2012_2.pdf (application date 14.03.2015).
  4. Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC). Official site. URL: http://evrazes.com/docs/view/3
  5. Eurasian integration in 2014. URL: http://www.geopolitics.ru/2014/02/evrazijskaya-integraciya-v-2014-godu/ (application date 14.03.2015).
  6. J. Harrison. Configuring the new ‘regional world’: on being caught between territory and networks. Department of Geography Loughborough University Loughborough Leicestershire United Kingdom. P.2. URL: Model Ecological Code of the CIS’s member states. URL: http://evrazes.com/docs/view/3 (application date 14.03.2015).
  7. J. Pierre, B. Guy Peters. Governance, Politics and the State. London: Macmillan Press, 2000. P.28.
  8. M. Bevir, R.A.W. Rhodes , P. Weller. Traditions of Governance: Interpreting the Changing Role of the Public Sector // Public Administration. 2003. Vol. 81, № 1.
  9. Priorities of integration in terms of ecology // Izvestia Newspaper. November 01, 2013. URL: http://www.evrazes.com/i/data/item7627-1.pdf
  10. Regional Cooperation and Integration: Experiences in Asia and the Pacific. Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Asian Development Bank, 2013. URL:http://aric.adb.org/pdf/Kunming_2012.pdf (application date 14.03.2015).

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