The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) operates smoothly and effectively, despite external pressure and a difficult international situation. This was stated by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin at a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in narrow format, which was held on February 2 under the chairmanship of the Russian side.
According to experts interviewed, Western restrictions are not capable of stopping the development of the EAEU. We are talking about the formation of a common gas market, the implementation of a joint project for accelerated railway and multimodal transportation “Eurasian Agroexpress”, as well as the approval of rules for access to services for interstate transmission of electricity. It is these topics of the policy of the countries of the association that are planned to be discussed on February 2 and 3 in Alma-Ata.
Mikhail Mishustin arrived in Alma-Ata in the late afternoon. Kazakhstan met the Russian delegation with thick fog that enveloped the city and mountains. However, there was no time to enjoy the scenery; the head of the Russian Cabinet was waiting for a rich work program. Literally getting off the plane, the prime minister went to a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, which was held in a narrow format.
“I cordially welcome you to Kazakhstan,” the head of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kazakhstan, Alikhan Smailov, addressed the audience. “Today we will hear a number of reports, discuss important issues for our countries, and outline prospects for further cooperation.
— Dear colleagues, friends! First of all, I would like to convey to you the best wishes from Russian President Vladimir Putin. We are holding the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Council this year. I would like to thank my colleague, the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Akylbek Zhaparov, for his effective work as chairman last year,” the head of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers responded.
On January 1, the Russian Federation took over the presidency of the Eurasian Economic Union. According to Mikhail Mishustin, Moscow will ensure the continuity of the course of the EAEU, which will be aimed at strengthening integration construction.
“The President of Russia emphasized that the union is developing steadily and clearly demonstrates its effectiveness and relevance,” Mikhail Mishustin conveyed to the audience the words of the Russian leader.
The absolute volume of trade of states during the existence of the union has increased by more than one and a half time. Foreign trade grew almost by half, he stressed.
“Together we are able to face the most difficult challenges. Whether it is the coronavirus and its consequences, or the changes that began as a result of the policy of the collective West. Despite external pressure and a difficult international situation, the union operates smoothly and effectively,” he said.
Vladimir Putin previously outlined the priorities for the work of the EAEU under the chairmanship of Russia. This is the development of the technological potential of the “five” (it includes the Russian Federation, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), the activation of interaction in the digital sphere, the formation of a unified food security policy, the creation of common energy markets, the formation of a new logistics transport infrastructure.
After the council meeting, Mikhail Mishustin held three meetings. The head of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers spoke with the Prime Ministers of Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan Nikol Pashinyan, Roman Golovchenko and Alikhan Smailov.
Development cannot be stopped
February 3 will be the main day of work for the participants of the Intergovernmental Council. It will begin with a tour of the exhibition of digital projects and the plenary session of the Digital Almaty 2023: Digital Partnership in the New Reality forum. Then a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council will be held in an expanded format.
It is planned that the heads of the Cabinets of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union will discuss the work on the draft Agreement on the regulation of the alcohol market within the framework of the EAEU, the preparation of a draft international agreement on the formation of a common gas market of the union, and also consider the areas of project activities in the EAEU of regional development institutions.
It is expected that the EEC will inform the members of the Intergovernmental Council about the macroeconomic situation and proposals to ensure sustainable development. In addition, politicians will discuss the implementation of the joint project of the allied countries on the implementation of accelerated rail and multimodal transportation of agricultural products and food “Eurasian Agroexpress”.
In addition, the meeting should approve the rules for access to services for the interstate transmission of electric energy (capacity) within the framework of the common electric power market of the EAEU – Eurasian Economic Union.
The head of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, Leonid Kalashnikov, said that it is impossible not to recognize the impact of sanctions on the union. However, they cannot restrain the development of such an association as the EAEU.
“Because this association works according to its own laws and principles. It is economically profitable to be in it, interest in it is only growing. Although, of course, even the participating countries are afraid of secondary sanctions, because the whole world is tied today to the global economy, the parliamentarian emphasized.
According to him, the next meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council should set the trend for the development of the union in the near future.
— Of course, restrictions have an impact, including on the motivation of the EAEU member countries. Nobody wants to be sanctioned, and in all their dealings with Russia, they try to distance themselves from time to time. On the other hand, the same sanctions open up new opportunities for these countries and arouse new economic interests,” added Konstantin Zatulin, head of the Institute of CIS Countries, deputy of the State Duma said.
At the same time, he noted: Russia remains a large economy in the post-Soviet space with large resources, which it will be very difficult for its closest neighbors to do without.
The last meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council was held in October last year in Yerevan. As the head of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers Mikhail Mishustin said then, despite sanctions and turbulence in world markets, the volume of trade between the countries of the union reached a historical maximum: $73 billion.
According to him, the Russian ruble in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was used to make 72% of payments.
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