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Eurasian Economic Union and CIS: Future of integration associations discussed in Minsk

Minsk became the center of politics. On October 28, Minsk was hosting a meeting of the heads of governmental delegations of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The President of Belarus took part also met with members of the CIS Council of Heads of Government.

Minsk has become a capital of integration. The day of politics started with the President’ s meeting with the First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Yaqub Eyyubov. 

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
It so happened that today in Minsk are heads of government and of both the CIS and EurAsEC. And the West is holding a conference, our European economic organization, the United Nations... A very broad representation. A group on Ukraine is working today, as well as tomorrow and yesterday. So all this intertwining suggests that Minsk still performs its function as a peace talks platform.

Yaqub Eyyubov, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan:
During such a difficult time, as you said, it’s hard to imagine who else would  treat us as Belarus does. Who would support Azerbaijan if not Belarus. There are a lot of serious problems in Azerbaijan at the moment.

During the meeting, Alexander Lukashenko underlined that both alliances are ready to welcome new members.

Today, Eurasian Economic Union is a large platform where global economic issues are discussed. Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are willing to develop and expand their cooperation.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
There was seen an increased criticism in our countries in connection with dissatisfaction with the pace and results of integration development. If we try to look at what is happening in the Eurasian Economic Union, we should realize that, of course, at the stage of the economic downturn countries have to implement protectionist measures. However, the Union was created as a more profound form of integration in order to overcome crises and stagnation in the economy together, to respect each other’s interests and establish common markets. In general, various types of crises, turmoil and clashes should pull real friends, real brothers closer together.

Countries of the Eurasian Economic Union need to agree on industrial politics. It will help to create a powerful economic base for establishing a more profound integration.

One of the most disputable issue was related to the Customs Code and free trade zones.

Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission:
Thanks to this document, new digital technologies are introduced, which will help to minimize the risks of corruption. Electronic technologies allow to carry out customs declaration remotely. We introduce a new concept of economic operator of customs production, which corresponds to the best practices and expand our business opportunities. The implementation of this document, in my opinion, will stimulate integration.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to discuss the most topical issues of bilateral relations and cooperation in integration associations, in particular the work of the CIS.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
The Commonwealth is based on the strategy of mutually beneficial and equal cooperation, which allows each of the member states to make a choice about the degree of their participation in the integration process, basing on the national interest. I am convinced that in current conditions, the CIS remains an effective universal platform for discussing topical issues and coordinate the positions of the member states. In Bishkek, the Heads of State gave a signal to governments about the necessity to find a new, modern impetus of the CIS development.

The future of the CIS depends on mutual project.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We need ambitious goals. We are looking for common points of economic growth, based on the principles of production, investment and scientific cooperation. Our scientists see cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes as one of the factors in the development of scientific and technical and innovation potential of the CIS member states. The basis of this interaction could be a large joint space project, implemented by pooling the resources of the CIS countries in order to obtain significant scientific, practical and economic results. An important area is to fill the internal market with strategic raw materials, including energy. We need to update and mutually coordinate national energy programs of our countries.

The main goal of these discussions is to transform integration ideas into real projects.

Eurasian Economic Union and CIS: Future of integration associations discussed in Minsk