Integration debate with eye to the future

Moscow hosts Eurasian Inter-governmental Council

Moscow hosts Eurasian Inter-governmental Council, with prime ministers of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan discussing priorities for stronger Eurasian economic integration

The session included discussion of a draft concept for forming common markets for oil and oil products: a vital component of a fully-fledged single market for goods, services, capital and labour force within the EAEU. The process should be complete by 2025. Many have questioned whether terms are being overextended and whether integration can be boosted. To some extent, the EAEU has been unlucky in the world arena: in the first year of its existence it faced serious objective difficulties. Mutual sanctions of Russia and the West have led to shrinkage of sales markets. Moreover, there has been a fall in world oil prices and devaluation of national currencies, which has significantly reduced the rate of integration. Other problems have included the postponement of the adoption of the Customs Code and single industrial policy.

Perhaps most importantly, withdrawals and restrictions in mutual trade have remained, numbering around 400, and resulting in losses for business and enterprises. This primarily refers to energy carriers: a topic pondered by Mikhail Kovalev, the Dean of the BSU’s Economic Faculty. He tells us, “Prices for oil and gas are set individually, instead of forming a single market of energy resources, with single access rights to pipelines. This would cement the Eurasian Economic Union; at present, it’s an amorphous structure.”

By Yevgeny Kononov
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