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12 December 2019, 19:16

EAEU summit to consider new strategy for Eurasian integration

MOSCOW, 12 December (BelTA) – There are plans to discuss a new strategy for Eurasian integration during the upcoming summit of the heads of state of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in St Petersburg, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Tigran Sargsyan during the conference on reviewing accomplishments of the Eurasian Economic Union over the course of the last five years. The conference was organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia and the USA-Russia Business Council.

Tigran Sargsyan noted that the Eurasian Economic Commission is working on a document designed to offer a new strategy for Eurasian integration. This document is supposed to be discussed during the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on 20 December.

Tigran Sargsyan stated that the Eurasian Economic Union has gone a long way over the course of five years. Despite the initial perception of the union as a political project as Eurasian integration advanced, most of the partners came to understand that the Eurasian Economic Union is a project with profound economic content and keeps up with global trends in favor of forming regional economic associations. According to Tigran Sargsyan, success attended the Eurasian Economic Union in the first five years. “We've polished mechanisms of effective interaction inside our union,” he said. “The five years were important for all the countries to properly feel these mechanisms, for them to build up trust and simultaneously work out a new way of interaction. It may be the most important institutional achievement of the first five years.”

Speaking about trade and economic relations with external partners, Tigran Sargsyan stated that considerable results had been achieved on the external track. “Through negotiations with third countries we shape the conditions our private sector is interested in,” he said. “Setting up free trade zones with our partners is the main tool for reaching this goal. The relevant agreements have already been signed with Vietnam, Singapore, Iran, and Serbia. We are still in negotiations with Egypt, Israel, and India. We are discussing a new list of priorities, deciding what countries we need free trade with.”

Tigran Sargsyan also pointed out considerable accomplishments in advancing relations with the European Union. “Our relations with the European Union began with their failure to recognize the Eurasian Economic Union,” he reminded. “But considerable progress has been secured since then: in 2017 a technical dialogue was established between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the European Commission on such matters as technical regulations and trade. The dialogue is broader now. Our contacts are very active and productive. Various formats are explored: requests, consultations, visits of delegations, teleconferences, and so on. In other words, in addition to resolving the problem of the Eurasian Economic Union's technical recognition by the European Commission we've filled our relations with serious content.”

Tigran Sargsyan believes that the development of external relations depends heavily on effective integration inside the Eurasian Economic Union. “We should demonstrate the viability of our integration organization, the fact that we fully implement the principles the foundation treaty stipulates – the principle of four freedoms. I am sure that as integration in our union grows stronger, the union's partnership with the European Union will grow stronger, too,” the official concluded.

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