A day of big politics in Bishkek. As many as two meetings on the highest of levels were held on April 14, 2017 in Bishkek. The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting and the informal conversation of the CSTO leaders.
The development of international cooperation and regional security was on the agenda.
As Alexander Lukashenko stated, the aims and the tasks of the EEU are close to many countries, and that is why it is important to attract new investors and enter new markets.
As for the CSTO activities, Alexander Lukashenko, as Chairman of the Collective Security Council, spoke about the priorities which were outlined by Belarus during the entire period of Belarus’ chairmanship in the organization.
Bishkek was one of the main newsmakers in 2016. It held the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit and the CIS Leaders Summit in 2016. In 2017 the Kyrgyz capital is hosting the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in 2017.
This year Kyrgyzstan is presiding in the EEU.
This meeting is a perfect possibility to discuss problems, positive experience of joint efforts within the EEU. Alexander Lukashenko’s last visit to Kyrgyzstan was in 2016, when the CIS Leaders meeting was held.
Warm greetings in the Ala Archa State Residence in Bishkek.
The President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev as host of the forum meets Presidents of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.
The 2016 Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting was held in Astana. The countries then signed 15 documents.
Today’s main issues are the formation of common oil and gas markets, equal economic conditions for EEU members. It will be discussed both at the restricted and afforced meetings. All the Presidents today are for integration of integrations. Such a union can bring real benefits.
It is planned that the EEU might be the nucleus of continental integration in the future.
Nevertheless, everything began with the idea of big Europe “from Lisbon to Vladivostok”. Today the result of cooperation can be seen. It is planned to make 2017 a make-or-break year (a suggestion of Alexander Lukashenko).
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
By focusing on the perfection of the relations inside the EEU, we are not forgetting about widening the outbound. And here, I’ll be honest with you, making current preferential agreements corresponds to the interests of Belarus. I am sure that it corresponds to other countries’ interests as well. That is why I call for using them more widely for the diversification of trade and investment relations with our partners, for enhancement of industrial and agricultural cooperation.
The establishment of a joint economic union, the task which underlies in the EEU agreements,
finds understanding and response among other states of the region. The proof to this is the agenda of the current meeting, the statement of Igor Dodon, President of the Republic of Moldova, and the ambition of many countries to establish a free economic trade area with the EEU. However, it is one thing to bind sound ideas in a document, but to realize these ideas is a completely different thing. This is where the EEU has enough of unresolved issues.
The Union didn’t manage to stop the decrease of the joint commodity circulation and to exclude the causes which led to it in 2016.
I am not mentioning other problems but this one is the main one as we are in an economic union.
The hardships of big integration are certainly present: world processes are done with discretely at the moment, not within the EEU’s obligations. However, the pluses are vivid too.
When a country enters multimillion markets, then it becomes more attractive for investors.
Kyrgyzstan has something to offer as well. The large Dordoi Bazaar is one of the biggest clothes market in Central Asia. Its annual sales are nearly four billion dollars.
Almazbek Atambayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic:
We need to continue active formation of a common labor market. We need to finalize the agreement on the pension support of workers and their families in the Eurasian Economic Community.
It is very important to form a common electricity power market inside the Union.
By the way, Kyrgyzstan was the last among the five countries to join the EEU. The interest to the integration union was justified.
The main export potential of Kyrgyzstan is connected with the EEU market, where a total of 37% of the entire Kyrgyz export goes. The major exports are dairy and agricultural products, fruit and vegetables, precipitates of precious metals, electricity, textile and sewing products. By the way, about 50 countries want to cooperate with the EEU today.
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation:
The structure of exporting and importing operations improved, the share of raw materials in trade decreased and the share of machinery, vehicles, equipment, food and agricultural products increased in 2016.
Cooperation with the Republic of Belarus is developing, and what is more, it is actively developing.
As for some large plants, the interdependence is 40% and more. Many products, which are made in Belarus, are looked at by the Russian Federation as a production of domestic manufacturers and enjoy the same benefits on state buying to the territory of the Russian Federation.
The assembly of Belarusian tractors was renewed in Bishkek not so long ago. A full cycle: from manufacturing to servicing. As many as 5000 vehicles per year. The tractors are not only sold to Kyrgyzstan but to China, Turkmenistan.
Actually, one of the main questions on the agenda is the development of relations with third countries.
Issues concerning cooperation with Iran, awarding Moldova the observer status within the Union were discussed. By the way, Moldova is an important partner and friend to Belarus. The two countries will be able to forward relations despite the difficulties. The development of industrial cooperation and partnership in science and technology sectors are among the priorities.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
We did everything possible so that Belarus’ ties with this wonderful country didn’t break. I know this country very well; I visited Moldova several times during the Soviet period. Moldova had different governments, different presidents, but we tried maintaining relations.
Igor Dodon, President of the Republic of Moldova:
People in Moldova know Belarus very well; they are envious of many of the reforms taking place in Belarus. They quite often provide examples that Belarus managed to preserve something good I the Soviet times, the agriculture and infrastructure projects. It is a very good example for Moldova.
A lot was discussed about the perspectives: the guidelines of economic policy for the next two years, the changes in the regulations for the Eurasian Economic Commission. All the agreements were sealed documentarily.
Straight after the meeting within the EEU issues concerning security were discussed by the leaders of the CSTO. New challenges and threats arise in the world today, They need to be addressed swiftly but it is even better to timely prevent them. Furthermore, it is important to coordinate the actions of all the CSTO members. What is more, another important issue on the agenda is the assignment of the new Secretary General of the organization.
Yuri Khachaturov was appointed to the position.
A significant agenda and a dozen of solved issues. These are the results of the meeting. The next Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting will be held in Russia.