Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on 29 May.
“Today’s meeting is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty. On 29 May 2014 the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed the historical document in Astana. Later, the union was joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, which heralded a new stage in the development of the Eurasian integration,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
“The union is still very young but has already proved its worth”.
Aleksandr Lukashenko praised the progress made in the union: “The Eurasian Economic Union is still too young. However, it has already proved its worth and self-sufficiency, providing our countries with an additional source for economic growth that helps us withstand negative trends in the world. This potential is still hugely untapped. Great prospects are ahead of us.”
In the recent years the mutual trade in the union has been growing (up more than 27% in 2017 year-on-year and almost 12% in 2018). “Though we are now concerned over a slowdown in the growth in the trade. At the same time it has been steadily rising with third countries,” the head of state said.
The EAEU has been widely using national currencies in mutual settlements. Inflation risks and unemployment issues have been taken under control. “The EAEU member states have been synchronizing their development processes, gradually aligning positions to pursue a coordinated macroeconomic policy. We need to use these practices, including for developing common strategies in industry, agriculture, transport, energy and other sectors,” the Belarusian president said.
The head of state also took note of the growing authority of the Eurasian Economic Union on the international arena. “We sometimes hear that they do not want to cooperate with us. They envy us. Maybe they are afraid of us. This is competition. This is a natural thing. They cannot ignore us any longer, today” the Belarusian leader stressed.
The EAEU continues dialogue with other states, regional associations and international institutions. The positive image of the union continues strengthening as a backbone organization of economic integration on the Eurasian continent.
“We have new areas of work on the agenda. We have launched economic digitalization, stepped up cross-border cooperation in the real sector and have been working on the mechanisms to implement innovative and investment projects. All the abovementioned are important and promising areas of cooperation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president stressed the importance of proper implementation of the already existing agreements, and this should be made a priority. “The agreements apply to the development of common markets, the freedom of movement of capital, goods, works and services. Activity in foreign markets and in new areas should not impede the main efforts to lift barriers, exceptions and limitations in mutual trade,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko is confident that promoting closer cooperation, increasing the share of goods produced within the EAEU on the common market will bring about more positive effects from the integration project.
“We should give up on protectionist decisions at the national level, any prohibitive and restrictive measures. This will guarantee a solid foundation for our union, successful development of the economies involved in the integration. There will be no problems then with attracting new countries we would like to see in the union. They will come to us themselves. It is necessary to create equal conditions in all sectors, including the energy sector. So far, we see preference given to the interests of an independent economic entity, sector or country,” the president said.
He added that everyone, from the heads of state to exporters, need to understand that the EAEU is built as a common market, a common space.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also stressed that it is important to further expand the powers of the Eurasian Economic Commission, first of all, in part of eliminating new barriers. “I think that our honorary chairman can be of great use here,” he said. The president emphasized that it is not only about the personality of Nursultan Nazarbayev. “He has a great number of smart people, experts around him. They worked closely with him while he was president and we should make use of this team,” the Belarusian head of state noted.
The president also suggested that Nursultan Nazarbayev take stock of all the things that have been done or not done in the union, starting from the membership of the Eurasian Economic Commission up to strategic priorities.
“Five years ago we made a decisive step to set up the union. The main priority today is to keep the achieved results and multiply them for the benefit of our states and nations. In today’s statement we are formulating the main principles and priorities of further cooperation,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed confidence that by joint efforts the parties would further strengthen the Eurasian integration.