Belarus, jointly with Russia, is actively working with new political and economic centers such as the SCO and BRICS. At the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council held on 9 December 2022, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to step up cooperation between the EAEU and these organizations. Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Mikhail Myasnikovich told a BelTA journalist about the Eurasian Economic Commission's vision of this work.
“The Eurasian Economic Union seeks to create the most enabling environment for the economic development of the EAEU member states in a new setting. In this regard, cooperation with the SCO and BRICS countries that already account for more than 30% of the world economy is one of our key priorities. After the December meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, we in the EEC embarked on studying the initiative of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko to intensify cooperation between the member countries of the EAEU, the SCO and BRICS and to hold a corresponding summit,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
According to him, active work is currently underway with the SCO to finalize the action plan to implement the memorandum of understanding between the EEC and the SCO Secretariat that was signed on 17 September 2021. “The work on the document is on the home stretch, it has already been agreed upon by all SCO countries and is undergoing final procedures,” the chairman of the EEC Board noted.
When preparing the draft program of the Eurasian Economic Forum scheduled for 24-25 May 2023, the commission initiated a separate panel session on cooperation between the EAEU and the SCO. “Representatives of government authorities, business circles, the expert community of the EAEU and the SCO countries will be invited to participate,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said. “We believe that the participation of the Republic of South Africa in the forum also makes sense as this year this country is the chair of BRICS as well as the New Development Bank of BRICS. We have already established contacts with our colleagues from the respective countries, and are also working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia that presides in the EAEU bodies in 2023,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
“We believe that these events will make the dialogue between the EAEU, the SCO and BRICS more systemic and will create the necessary groundwork for holding a summit of our associations, if the need for such a summit arises,” the head of the EEC Board noted.
When asked what areas of joint work between the EAEU, the SCO and BRICS are the most promising, Mikhail Myasnikovich responded that as far as the SCO is concerned, the priority attention is paid to transport and logistics. “During the Samarkand summit of the SCO in September 2022, we discussed this issue with SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming and mapped out a specific work plan. The EEC prepared proposals for the implementation of an ambitious project that seeks to ensure smooth transport corridors in Eurasia, digitalization of logistics processes and creation of a common system of customs transit. These proposals are now being considered by the SCO countries,” the head of the EEC Board explained.
According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, the unification of potentials of payment systems of the EAEU and BRICS and the use of national currencies in mutual settlements are also high on the agenda. “The EEC is currently considering this matter on its own initiative,” he specified.
“Mutually beneficial areas of cooperation between the EAEU and the SCO and BRICS include trade regulation, energy, the climate agenda, technology and innovation,” continued Mikhail Myasnikovich. “The exchange of best practices in project financing deserves a special mention. Our organizations have development institutions and we need to think about how we could synchronize their potentials,” he said.
“I believe that all the above-mentioned issues will be discussed in detail during the Eurasian Economic Forum in May this year, following which we will make decisions and sign cooperation documents,” the chairman of the EEC Board concluded.