Eurasian Union: Superpower-in-Waiting

In early 2011, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia effectively established an economic union. On the 1st of July of that same year, those three nations: "created a huge market with 165 million customers, with unified legislation, and with free movement of: services, capital, and labor." Three months later, Putin called for the formation of a Eurasian Union: "the prospective union will not be a new U.S.S.R. or a replacement for the CIS, but an effective link between Europe and the Asia Pacific region, an association with close [emphasis mine] coordination of the economic and currency policies." In the same article that Putin wrote calling for close coordination, he promised that the: "bloc would become a major global player."
Shortly before Putin called for a Eurasian Union, he had just announced his candidacy for the presidency, essentially meaning that re-integration of former Soviet states  into a new powerful union was one of his main platforms. Two months before Putin ran for president in March of 2012, further integration plans with Belarus and Kazakhstan went through. Those three nations already have as much freedom of movement as European Union countries enjoy.
Russia Izvestia noted that that it took 40 years for the European Union to fully come together, and that the Eurasian Union has learned from their bureaucratic mistakes. Izvestia also reported that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are slated to soon join the union. The effects of the migration that this union will bring are already being felt. Just last month, Al-Jazeera reported on Tajikistan's "missing men." 
Izvestia also notes that the Russians hope to eventually create a link from "Lisbon to Vladivostok" eliminating not only economic barriers, but also visa barriers. If the prospect of the Eurasian Union being able to compete with the United States for influence with the European Union perplexes you, then you should recall that last month Germany's Social Democrats called for the suspension of European Union-US trade talks. The Social Democratic party is outraged at the NSA's Soviet/Stasi-like tactics, and they are not the only ones in Europe. Snowden's revelations will allow Putin to convince prospective Eurasian Union states that joining will allow them to form part of the European Union, even if this is not the end goal, or if it's not truly feasible. The ultimate makeup of the Eurasian Union has not been determined, but: "Russian political scientist Dmitry Orlov indicated that those countries should include Finland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Mongolia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, as well as two countries not in either Europe or Asia: Cuba and Venezuela."
A proposal you can't refuse.
The document establishing the Eurasian Union's "constitution" was written largely by Moscow, and the president of Belarus even admitted that his country took little part in writing the document, but that they would welcome all of Moscow's proposals. Moscow's influence has grown to the extent that even the New York Times admitted in 2011 that Kyrgyzstan's: "proximity and historical ties to Russia may prevail over what many here see as America’s temporary strategic interest... Russia’s methods have evolved. A soft-power campaign that included documentary films on Russian television and denunciations by Russian officials of human rights violations preceded the uprising in April 2010 that overthrew Kurmanbek S. Bakiyev, a corrupt autocrat who had sometimes thwarted Russian interests."
Earlier this month, Georgia -- a country not-too-long-ago invaded by Russia -- announced the possibility that they will join the Eurasian Union, showing how successful Russia has become at its soft-power campaign. This is a campaign that relies on the nostalgia of unity, and the subtle threat of destabilization.
Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin asked for Russia to "consider the 20,000 Serbs in Kosovo who applied for Russian passports." Kosovo was a state created through US military might, and Russian claims over Kosovo could make them appear to be a superpower willing to take on the US. Secretary of State Clinton stated last year: "we know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it."
Less than a year after Clinton's statements, Russia has entered the international arena in Syria with tremendous force, flexing its power in the same way that a superpower would. The fact that Obama has called off his proposed strike against Syria is probably only now further convincing other countries of the benefits of being part of the Eurasian Union, of having the power to question the United States' narrative. The Eurasian Union presents itself as a rising superpower, while presenting the United States as a collapsing superpower. If the United States Congress fails to pass a budget, and if the sequester should worsen, then the rise of the Eurasian Union is more than guaranteed.
Though yesterday Ukrainian ministers decided to join the European Union, to much Russian opposition, it has to be approved by the Ukrainian public. The strong Russian opposition is proof that Moscow is not fully interested in total integration with Europe, but in creating its own sphere, and of waging a soft-war against anyone who stands in the way of that sphere. Putin has already played his cards, and only history can tell if he's a good poker player. On September the 11th, Russia Today aired a segment accusing the US government of attacking itself to justify a war against Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps in that "conspiracy theory" is the unifying force that the Eurasian Union needs.