BISHKEK, 9 December (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko named strategic tasks for the development of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as he spoke at the summit of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Bishkek on 9 December, BelTA has learned.
“We should by no means stop in our development. Considering the fundamental changes in the world, we have to pay close attention to strategic areas of the EAEU development along with accomplishing current tasks. In this regard I would like to stress the importance of further deepening of the union integration and the necessity to position our union on the international arena,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
As for strategic tasks, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that it is necessary, first of all, to ensure prompt implementation of joint projects to develop modern industries - the industries of the future. “This is an obligatory element of our economic sovereignty. Today we are going to take another step in this direction - we are considering the issue of vesting the EAEU bodies with the authority to provide financial assistance for industrial cooperation from the EAEU budget,” the president said.
The possibility of subsidizing interest rates on loans will help the Eurasian Development Bank to raise the financing of specific industrial projects to a qualitatively new level.
Improvement of the “blood circulatory system”
"Second, we need to improve, at all costs, the blood circulatory system of our union. I'm talking about finances. It is already clear to everyone that the era of dollar dominance is coming to an end. The future belongs to trade blocs, settlements in which will be made in national currencies. Belarus and Russia are no longer using the U.S. dollar in their main settlements. It is important that other partners actively join this process," the head of state said.
Removal of barriers in the domestic market
The president stressed that at the meeting of the Supreme Council in May 2022 the parties agreed to consider the issue of removing barriers in the EAEU domestic market.
“I believe that we should not have any barriers to mutual trade in principle. This is the essence of our union. This will solve two main problems of providing national markets with critical imports and coordinating the export of strategically important goods, especially foodstuffs,” the Belarusian leader said.
“Today the reality is that we are still struggling with the consequences of decisions made unilaterally at the national level: either we cannot export timber, or we cannot let international truckers through. The search for mutually acceptable solutions to problematic issues takes many months. Sometimes there are a lot of meetings, but few solutions. I think the Commission should strengthen its work in this direction to the maximum,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Enhancement of the EAEU's international authority
Aleksandr Lukashenko also said that priority should be given to improving the international authority and competitiveness of the EAEU.
"Recent events have shown that not everyone agrees with the further existence of the unipolar world. As a result, the role of such integration associations as the SCO and BRICS is growing. Our union must keep pace with them. Moreover, I believe that the time has come we hold a summit of the EAEU, SCO and BRICS member countries," the Belarusian head of state said. “These countries share our position on the need to respect different cultures, views, political systems. Perhaps some ASEAN states will want to take part in such a meeting too. According to him, the core items on the summit agenda could be economic cooperation (for example, the formation of regional trading blocs, the use of national currencies), and also energy and security.”
“This issue sounds relevant especially in view of the fact that next year the Russian Federation is taking up the presidency. I think it will be easier to organize such an event under the Russian presidency,” the Belarusian leader said.
He also drew attention to the need to be clear and consistent in declaring its presence on the world map and through further expansion of free trade zones with stakeholders.
Aleksandr Lukashenko called the planned start of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates a landmark political step for the EAEU.
“At a time when they are trying to split and isolate us, we are systematically expanding trade cooperation with our partners. Negotiations on free trade zones with Iran and Egypt are already on the home stretch. Negotiations with Indonesia and Mongolia are about to begin. In addition to economic bonuses, the conclusion of such agreements demonstrates the futility of the attempts of the collective West to strangle us with sanctions,” the Belarusian leader said.