MINSK, 27 February (BelTA) – The draft Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) development strategy through 2025 is almost complete. One of the most important provisions of the document is to remove all the barriers and restrictions between the participating states, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich told the media after his meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 27 February, BelTA has learned.
“The strategy has a big block of issues. This is its main difference from all the previous documents adopted in the EAEU. The strategy envisages the removal of barriers and restrictions in internal trade to implement the right of four freedoms: the movement of goods, services, workforce and finance,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
In his words, there is almost no unified financial market in the EAEU: “We have a lot of barriers and restrictions in the trade of goods. The president supported my proposal that all the countries simultaneously remove barriers and restrictions and instruct their governments to refrain from producing new ones. This decision, however, can be made by the heads of state only,” Mikhail Myasnikovich said.
“These barriers are not deciding in trade, but create a lot of obstacles for business and people. A negative social opinion is emerging that the Union does not work. It would be a great step forward if we remove all the barriers and do not create new ones,” he added.
According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, about two thirds of all the obstacles had been created by the very five states. These are, for example, the trade in excisable goods (alcohol, tobacco), issues related to transit, infrastructure platforms (pipeline, air, and road transport). “There are all kinds of regulators that pursue corporate rather than government goals and thus create problems. If there are different tariffs, for example, for gas pumping, it will be not a common market. It hinders both business and the government,” he said.
According to the head of the EEC Board, a lot has been done, including the adoption of various declarations, statements and memorandums. “The limit for making such decisions was exhausted a long time ago. We need practical actions, direct action norms,” he said.
Mikhail Myasnikovich, for example, believes that the need for marking goods in the EAEU is far-fetched. It seemed to be a good deed and is aimed at eliminating low-quality goods and those that enter the common market illegally. “Perhaps, we need to eliminate the root causes in the first place. We need to eliminate the holes at the border, remove barriers in internal trade, and then there will be no need to mark products,” he stressed. However, some EAEU countries widely use product marking. Russia, in particular, has recently introduced the marking of dairy products. Earlier it introduced footwear marking. “Mediators emerge, who, thanks to the marking, create new barriers: to give or not to give them, how many, to whom, and when - at the beginning or at the end of the month,” said Mikhail Myasnikovich. According to him, subsidiaries of the Belarusian footwear manufacturer Belwest faced problems with obtaining markings.
“We need to do our best to fight against products that come from third countries illegally rather than using illegal methods to protect the domestic manufacturer. Once you start doing this, you get a response from your counterparts in the EAEU. As a result, we lose everything,” the head of the EEC Board said.
In his words, decisions made by politicians are not always implemented at the expert level. He assured that he will be working to address the matter. “I talked about it with the chairman of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. “We need to pay the attention of senior officials to the unconditional implementation of the agreements which are made at the level of heads of state,” said Mikhail Myasnikovich.