MOSCOW, 25 September (BelTA) - The decision to grant Cuba the status of an observer state in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) may be taken before the end of 2020, BelTA learned from the press service of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) following the joint consultations of the EEC, EAEU member states, and Cuba to clarify certain aspects of granting the country the status of an observer state in the EAEU, as well as the meetings of the Cuban delegation with Chairman of the Board of the EEC Mikhail Myasnikovich and Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergei Glazyev.
“Earlier the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was informed on Cuba's intention to obtain the status of an observer state in the EAEU. The heads of state made instructions to hold joint consultations with the country to clarify technical issues and prospects for cooperation. During the joint consultations at the EAEU headquarters, the deputy foreign ministers of the EAEU states declared unconditional support to the initiative of the Cuban side. As Sergei Glazyev noted, the EAEU countries are already cooperating with Cuba under the memorandum concluded in 2018. There is, however, a great mutual intention to increase cooperation,” the press service said.
“The status of an observer state will let Cuba intensify interaction with the EAEU countries. The priority sectors may include industry, healthcare, energy, transport and agro-industrial complex,” Sergei Glazyev emphasized.
Chairman of the EEC Board Mikhail Myasnikovich congratulated the Cuban delegation on successful consultations: “I think the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will make a decision already this year. The commission, for its part, has performed all the necessary procedures to submit this issue to the presidents of our states for consideration.”
Mikhail Myasnikovich stated with regret, however, that the mutual trade between the EAEU and Cuba is still very low. “2018 was the best year, with about $420 million in bilateral trade. This is primarily due to the fact that trade is mainly done with Russia (95% of the total). Our capabilities are much greater,” said the chairman of the EEC Board.
He added that the commission will motivate the EAEU countries to step up trade, and expressed hope that Cuba will intensify this work as well.
The status of an observer state in the EAEU gives the country the opportunity to attend the meetings of EAEU bodies by invitation without the right to participate in decision-making, as well as to receive documents adopted by the bodies that do not contain confidential information. At the moment, Moldova has such a status.