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Eurasian Economic Union makes progress

Belarus is insisting on the complete removal of all exemptions and restrictions in trade within the EAEU
Belarus is insisting on the complete removal of all exemptions and restrictions in trade within the EAEU. This follows a review of last year’s results of Belarus’ foreign policy and the efforts of the Foreign Ministry.

On January 1st, 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty came into force, with Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joining the Union during the year. It was an honour for Belarus to be the first country to preside over the governing bodies of the union. The review details how the results of our efforts have been greatly appreciated by our partners in the association.

At the same time, no breakthrough has been secured in resolving the key problem — the full removal of exemptions and restrictions in mutual trade. This issue lies within the scope of the Board of the second-convocation Eurasian Economic Commission that will begin working in February 2016.

Nevertheless, as part of the implementation of Belarus’ initiatives, the main guidelines for industrial co-operation inside the union have been adopted. The concept of forming a common electricity and energy market has been approved, alongside a package of legislation to enable the operation of a common market for pharmaceuticals and medical products from January 1st, 2016. Upon Belarus’ initiative, a new consultative format has been created for coordinating macroeconomic policy with the assistance of the heads of the central banks, the ministries of finance and economy.

Meanwhile, the Eurasian Economic Union’s international co-operation has advanced significantly. As part of Belarus’ presidency an aide-memoire has been prepared and submitted to the European Commission: ‘Eurasian Economic Union — European Union: The Contours of Co-operation’. The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a comprehensive presentation edition ‘40 Questions About the Eurasian Economic Union’ that targets a broad international audience. A free trade agreement has been signed with Vietnam. The Eurasian Economic Union heads of state have decided to open negotiations with China on signing a partnership and co-operation agreement and are also in negotiations with Israel on signing a free trade agreement. Experts are also working to marry the capabilities of the Eurasian Economic Union with China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative.

By Vladimir Khromov

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