Sirius Geography


Ajla Medanhodzic | 29 November 2021

Continents are a way of dividing the planet into large-scale areas. Australia, Africa, and Antarctica are, for the most part, separate and distinct continents. The continents difficult to categorize are North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and this article will discuss the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia and the concept of Eurasia.

Facts and geography

Eurasia is a term used to describe the largest continental area on Earth. The term itself is a contentious and elusive one and there is no consensus or agreement among authors on its meanings and implications. About 75% of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and it accounts for 3/4s of the world’s known energy resources. The long chain of the Ural Mountains has long been an unofficial dividing line between these 2 continents. This mountain chain served as a marker between Europe and Asia for generations, but it is not a natural division between landmasses. The Ural Mountains do not stretch far south at all, and they end long before the Caspian Sea, throwing the Caucasus region into the endless debate of whether they are “European” or “Asian” countries. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world’s three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia.

Concept of Eurasia in Western Europe and Russia

For some, Eurasia is merely a handy way of referring to the post-Soviet Socialist Republic. In Western Europe, when political scientists talk about Eurasia, they generally mean Russia, (including Ukraine) integrated into Europe. The Russian concept of Eurasia is very different from a European one and its roots are older than the European one. Russian politologists view Russia as being both European and Asian. The geopolitical area of the Russian concept of Eurasia corresponded initially to the land area of Imperial Russia in 1914, including parts of Eastern Europe, and this view was greatly influenced by Pan-Slavism—a movement from the 19th century that aimed to unite Slavs, which are people group who share ethnical, cultural, and linguistic roots. Originally, the idea of Eurasia was romantically rooted in natural geography. The idea was that the people scattered around the land called Eurasia shared common spiritual values due to its common traits. Nowadays, Russians believe Eurasia consists of the landline between Europe and Asia proper, namely those made up of Western and Central Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, part of Causcaus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgystan.

Eurasian Economic Union

The EEU (Eurasian Economic Union) is the largest economic union by area in the world. Vladimir Putin described it as a bridge between Europe and Asia and as a new supranational union that could become one of the poles of the modern world. The Eurasian Union is infused with an anti-western movement called “Eurasianism”, a vision to restore Russia’s rightful place in the world.

Image 1. Map of the Eurasian Economic Union with member states, observer states (Cuba is not shown), and candidate states. (Image: Sirius Geography).


Eurasianism was first elaborated right after World War I, and it can be defined as an ideology that affirms that Russia and its “margins” occupy a median position between Europe and Asia, that their specific features have to do with their culture being a “mix” born of the fusion of Slavic and Turko-Muslim peoples, and that Russia should specifically highlight its Asian features and reject the view that Russia is on the periphery of Europe. The concept of Eurasianism has turned into state ideologies that are reflected in domestic, regional, and foreign policies within Eurasia. Its doctrine argues that Eurasia is unique in itself as a civilization, distinct from Asia and Europe, and comparable to Europe, China, and India, but not to nation-states like France, England, or Germany. In essence, it supports the view that Russia is not Europe, and that European norms, values, and principles do not suit Russia.