The exemptions and restrictions that are in effect in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) have a negative impact on the perception of the organization, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told reporters after meeting with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on 27 May, BelTA has learned.
Vladimir Makei noted that over the past five years the EAEU member states managed to create a system of multilateral economic cooperation that gave a boost to mutual trade between the member states. Apart from that, other countries are also showing interest in the EAEU – about 30 states have already showed their willingness to sign a free trade zone agreement with the EAEU member states.
“No doubt, the organization has achieved some positive results. At the same time, we should admit that a number of restrictions and exemptions still remain in place. We are working on this, of course, but I would not want these exemptions and restrictions to gain momentum. We want a balance between Eurasian and European economic integration processes, but unfortunately, the remaining issues in our union make some external players skeptical about it. They start viewing the EAEU as someone's geopolitical project. We are working with these players. However, we strongly believe that we need to remove all barriers in mutual trade, promote cooperation in the manufacturing industry, ensure free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce, and this is a quite ambitious task,” Vladimir Makei said.
He emphasized that these matters will dominate the agenda of Belarus' forthcoming four-year presidency in Eurasian organizations.