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Belarus president arrives in Yerevan for Eurasian Economic Union summit

President 30.09.2019 | 16:40

YEREVAN, 30 September (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has arrived in Armenia on a working visit. The aircraft with the Belarusian head of state on board landed in the Zvartnots International Airport, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko is expected to take part in a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan on 1 October. Today the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union member states will meet for an informal dinner in the Armenian president's summer residence at Lake Sevan. Moldova President Igor Dodon, Iran President Hassan Rouhani, and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong are expected to take part in the unofficial part of the summit today and in the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council tomorrow. Igor Dodon will take part as the head of state of an observer state while the leaders of Iran and Singapore will participate as guests of honor.

The agenda of the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council includes about 15 items. The heads of state of the Eurasian Economic Union member states are expected to discuss matters of economic interaction, financial policy, energy, the main directions of international activities, and the advancement of cooperation with third countries.

The distribution of import customs duties between the Eurasian Economic Union member states is the most sensitive issue on the agenda for Belarus. Work to revise the figures has been in progress since 2017, with every country lobbying for the most profitable option for itself. These matters have been repeatedly discussed by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council but so far the countries have only been able to reconcile approaches to determining the methods of calculating the distribution rates.

In line with the current standards Armenia gets 1.22% of the sum of the import customs duties, Belarus gets 4.56%, Kazakhstan – 7.055%, Kyrgyzstan – 1.9%, and Russia – 85.265%. The standards will stay in effect till the end of the year.

As he met with heads of state of the Eurasian Economic Union member states in autumn 2018 Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that Belarus will no longer support the extension of the effective import customs duties since the current scheme is absolutely unprofitable for the country. The president explained that Belarus would face unequal conditions otherwise, this is why he believes it is necessary to put maximum effort into working out a fair solution. “The matter should become less political and more economic,” the president said.

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