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Experts analyze EEU summit in Astana

The EEU summit, held in Astana on May 31, is being analyzed by experts and politicians. The Presidents of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia expressed their opinions on the future of Eurasian integration.

Two years ago, in Astana, three presidents (Belarusian, Kazakh and Russian) signed a treaty establishing the EEU. After 24 months, Integration is growing and partners of dozens of countries are interested in expanding cooperation with this entity.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan:
The Eurasian Economic Union has become a full-fledged integration association.

The Belarusian side, however, raised some problems.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We need to form our own highly developed single market. We need to be strong ourselves; we must strengthen the union in every possible way.

The Belarusian side has long stood for the cancellation of all the exemptions and limitations in mutual trade. The President has even called the number: about 600 obstacles should be removed once and for all. Freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and labor is above everything else. On the other hand, no one can cancel national interests. In general, one needs to find a compromise.

Viktor Valyushitsky, chairman of the standing committee on economic policy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus:
Let us work out the common rules of work. Now we are solving each problem separately. There are plans to remove some exemptions in the coming 10-15 years. But in today's age such pace of work is simply incomprehensible.

Goods and services must move quicker and at a larger scale: in the last two years, the EEU domestic trade has fallen by almost $20 billion to $45 billion.

Viktor Valyushitsky, chairman of the standing committee on economic policy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus:
Belarus is the country that is the most integral part of the EEU, so to speak. We have more than 60% of the total foreign trade in EurAsEC countries. Kazakhstan has 15% and Russia only 7%. Of course, Belarus is the side that is the most interested in the dynamic development of this community.

Common energy and oil markets are still only on paper. This paper will not turn into currency notes automatically.

MORE: Eurasian Economic Union to form single oil market

Elena Semak, Ph.D., associate professor of the international relations department of the Belarusian State University:
From the point of view of economy, of course, now that calculation gives an increase of almost $8 billion for all countries of the EEU. Of course, this is an objective thing, but for now we see only a concept. Imagine that for now the countries have agreed that we will build a house. But no one has the exact project documentation.

The EEU is already operating a free trade zone with Vietnam, with Serbia next in line. Plus Chinese projects that will bind the entire continent with red threads.

Elena Semak, Ph.D., associate professor of the international relations department of the Belarusian State University:
The People’s Republic of China has now started to create free trade zones with all countries that want this. The same is now being done by the USA, which is why the EEU's intention to create free trade zones are now a worldwide trend.

Putin spoke more about geopolitics.  The EEU's foreign political and economic priorities include cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN. Belarus has long been an expert in matters of multi-vector policy and multi-vector export.

Valentin Starichyonok, political scientist:
This is a platform, a platform that allows us to gain a foothold there, and to further develop economic relations with them. Be it the EEU or Belarus alone.

The next meeting of the Supreme State Council of the EEU will be held within six months.

Experts analyze EEU summit in Astana