MINSK, 30 November (BelTA) – There are several possible ways of resolving the natural gas problem in the Eurasian Economic Union. Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich made the relevant statement after meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 30 November, BelTA has learned.
Mikhail Myasnikovich said: “This matter is still part of the draft strategic directions. There are several possible road forks here. We have a program on setting up the common natural gas market. In line with the program an international agreement is supposed to be drafted in 2021 in order to stipulate – as we expect it to – all the details such as the pricing of natural gas and gas transportation tariffs.”
In his words, some parties believe it would be simpler and more convenient to resolve the gas problem within the framework of bilateral relations. For instance, Belarus and Russia are going to negotiate directly instead of waiting for the common market to be established. “This approach and the other one have their own advantages and disadvantages. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are strongly of the opinion that together with Belarus they would be able to resolve their problems concerning gas transportation tariffs and gas prices. But one should bear in mind that the level of integration and cooperation within the framework of bilateral relations also demonstrates a very strong position. Not all the issues can be resolved for the five EAEU member states on the basis of reciprocity. Some things can be resolved within the framework of bilateral relations as well,” the official explained.
The Eurasian Economic Union member states now demonstrate different approaches to creating the common market of natural gas: Russia and Kazakhstan uphold one point of view while Belarus, Armenia, and Kazakhstan have a different point of view. Kyrgyzstan would also like natural gas trade with third countries to be addressed as well: the country already buys some gas from Uzbekistan. “This is why it is a complicated matter that is open to debate. I think it will be one of the key items on the agenda on 11 December,” Mikhail Myasnikovich noted.
Plans have been made to reflect the development of the legal base of the Eurasian Economic Union in the strategic directions of development in addition to the formation of common markets.
“We already see that the union's legal base is incomplete. An entire number of matters require new regulations. According to our estimates, within the next 3-5 years it will be necessary to pass 13 international agreements, about 60 normative legal acts concerning regulations in the Eurasian Economic Union, and about 25 amendments to the basic treaty of 2014,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
BelTA reported earlier that a summit of the Eurasian Economic Union is scheduled for 11 December. An online session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will be held due to the epidemic situation. The agenda will include 28 items according to preliminary data. The EAEU leaders will have to approve strategic directions on the advancement of Eurasian integration in the period till 2025 among other things. The heads of state signed the document in May 2020 but due to its shortcomings the program was only approved as a whole.
Iya Malkina, Aide to the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), explained that the matter of prices for gas transportation is yet to be addressed by the draft strategy. “A draft resolution of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on strategic directions of advancement of Eurasian integration in the period till 2025 has been approved by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission,” she said during an online briefing on 25 November. “According to Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergei Glazyev, almost all the points have been reconciled by the parties. Sensitive disagreements over prices for gas transportation services on the common gas market of the union remain unresolved.”