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26 February 2024, 11:59

Lukashenko calls for further removal of barriers in EAEU, scaling up Union State best practices

MINSK, 26 February (BelTA) – It is important to continue removing barriers in the EAEU and scaling up the best practices of the Union State, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Bakytzhan Sagintayev in Minsk on 26 February, BelTA has learned.

"Belarus and Russia would like the EAEU to learn more from the Union State and adopt its best practices that the EAEU might find useful," the head of state said.

He noted that the EAEU, the CIS and the Union State are different formats of the multi-level integration. The CIS is the lowest tier in terms of the depth of integration. "We would like the CIS to follow example of the EAEU. Or, maybe, our allied relations with Russia," the president said. "But this is the will of the heads of state, governments and the elites of these states. We do not really insist on this. But, on the other hand, why not?" 

This is, however, not the main thing, he said. “The main thing is that we have a number of problems in our economic union that need to be addressed. They are all of economic nature. We would like to see all sorts of barriers that still, unfortunately, exist in our union, removed, and this should be done during your chairmanship, since Kazakhstan itself plays a very important role in the union. We need to agree on energy issues so that the states have equal opportunities. We need common markets for gas and oil. We need to create a common market. You see how the situation is developing around us, and the very circumstances push us to closer cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union,” the Belarusian leader said.

On 1 February, Bakytzhan Sagintayev assumed office of Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission. Before the EEC, he held a number of important government posts in Kazakhstan. "You are an experienced person who has come a long way. The EAEU is an economic organization. I know Kazakhstan's principled approach to these issues very well, because I was at the origins of the organization together with Nursultan Nazarbayev [the first president of Kazakhstan]. The current leadership of Kazakhstan is committed to this policy, namely the Eurasian Economic Union being an economic organization,” the head of state said. “I think that using your experience and your previous involvement in economic matters, we will be able to achieve a lot. The main thing is that you act proactively, put forward initiatives. I think you are resolute person and will do your utmost to promote the development of our Eurasian Economic Union." 

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the economy is the basis of strong interstate relations. "If there is an economy, there will be politics, diplomacy, and military cooperation. Therefore, we need to set up more joint ventures on the principles of shared cooperation, to finance them. You can always count on us. Please do not hesitate to reach us out suggesting the things to do. If some things cannot be addressed at the moment, we will tell you about this frankly. But so far there have been no issues that we would not be able to reslove in terms of in the development of our union," the head of state said.

Taking into account that Bakytzhan Sagintayev's visit coincided with the electoral process in Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the elections to the local councils and parliament went calmly. "You know that we have begun a careful renewal of the political system. We see that this must be done. A generation of politicians is changing. New people, young people are coming. Therefore, we need to prepare in advance, in an evolutionary fashion. We have started this difficult process," he said.

The president stressed that the current elections are especially important, since the Parliament and local councils, in accordance with the updated Constitution, are the cornerstone for the Belarusian People's Congress. This body has acquired constitutional status in Belarus.
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