MINSK, 23 December (BelTA) – Belarus is in favor of establishing a permanent format of dialogue between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in a interview with the Osteuropa Informationen economic publication of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, BelTA has learned.
The minister noted that the idea of integration of integrations or cooperation of integrations is about making the EU-EAEU cooperation a systemic process aimed at achieving meaningful and appreciable results for both union. “Such a rapprochement will help build trust and dismantle the myth about incompatibility and rivalry of the eastern and western systems. This myth is to blame for putting countries in front of a false choice between the West and the East to the detriment of their relations with one or another of their partners. In reality there should not be such a choice in principle; the partnership of the two integration unions should be an eloquent example of it,” the foreign affairs minister said.
He suggested starting with creating a permanent format of dialogue between the EU and the EAEU. “Both sides could determine their priority areas of interest within the framework of such a dialogue. This could be compatibility of technical norms and standards in the manufacturing industry, sanitary and phytosanitary regulations in agricultural production, with an ultimate goal of expanding mutual trade. Many technical regulations and standards of the EAEU are already in the works taking into account European and international norms,” Vladimir Makei said.
He believes that both sides would benefit from closer cooperation in customs administration and easier terms of cargo transportation and control. Joint development of continental road and railway infrastructure could become one of the most important avenues of cooperation. It is also of particular importance to bring into line transportation networks of the EAEU, the EU and the Belt and Road project initiated by China.
Vladimir Makei suggested considering coherent rules of conduct in the digital sector, which would give a fresh impetus to e-commerce and other paperless transactions between the two unions and would also encourage new digital solutions in cargo and passenger transportation. “Belarus is a member of the Eastern Partnership initiative that also comprises another EAEU participating state, Armenia, and also a EAEU observer state, Moldova. Therefore, Belarus suggests using the Eastern Partnership format for looking for solutions to the most burning issues at the junction of the two unions and cooperation forms. These tasks will be high on the agenda of Belarus' chairmanship in the EAEU in 2020,” the minister concluded.