Session of Supreme Eurasian Economic Council
Address of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko at the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council
Dear participants of the summit,
First of all, I would like to thank Sadyr Nurgozhoevich [Japarov] for the organization of the session of our council and the Eurasian Economic Forum.
Our session is taking place in complicated geopolitical and economic conditions. We’ve managed to successfully ameliorate problems on the currency and financial market. However, the pressure of sanctions is not getting weaker but, on the contrary, it seems to be getting stronger.
Due to the global nature of the economy and since Russia is a major trade and economic partner for the Eurasian Economic Union countries, all the members of the union will be affected by the sanctions to a varying degree.
This is why we cannot stay idle. I say it again to those, who think that problems will go away of their own accord and they will be able to sit this one out. We simply have to unite and act together. It is obvious that everyone needs it and there is no other way if we are to preserve our statehood, our union, and if we truly think about the wellbeing of our nations.
The steps the countries have taken already confirm it. In particular, it is true for the promptly taken decisions to bolster the stability of the economies of the countries. I believe that we should take urgent measures to redesign logistics.
Of considerable interest is the Eurasian Agroexpress initiative of the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is designed to ensure regular unhindered supplies of agricultural goods by rail, including to China.
Apart from that, it is essential to fast-track the work to develop new cooperative ties and replace imports, especially critical imports. The idea to draw up indicative balances for essential goods for the EAEU domestic market merits attention.
The EAEU is well-positioned in terms of food security, but in view of the expected increased demand for staple foods in the world, the EAEU needs to establish close coordination to prevent a shortage of certain goods in its own markets.
I believe that we need to engage other CIS countries in the efforts to solve these problems.
It is of great importance for the EAEU to build an international economic union with third countries and integration associations.
Being under the sanctions, we should not self-isolate in our economic union. Besides the so-called collective West, there are enough states in the world that are ready to build equal, respectful relations with us.
Active work is underway to conclude trade agreements with Egypt and Iran. Substantive negotiations with Indonesia are about to begin. The United Arab Emirates is also showing interest in a free trade agreement.
The international agreement on trade and economic cooperation concluded with China has a huge potential. It should be used to expand cooperation in the manufacturing sector, including in innovative areas, attract investments, make the most of the transit potential of our union, and increase mutual trade.
Now it is necessary to step up efforts this year to implement the road map with the Chinese side. Of particular importance is the partnership with China in digital transport corridors. “The implementation of this project will help switch to a comprehensive electronic technology of cargo transportation by rail between the member states of our union and China.
Another important matter is the discussion of Uzbekistan’s participation in the EAEU’s initiatives. The president also highlighted the high level of interaction between the EAEU and Cuba as well as Venezuela’s interest in cooperation with the economic association.
These issues are nothing new. Most of these activities were included in our documents and plans. Now we just need to devote more time and attention to them in order to achieve results.
In the end, I would like to tell you that Belarus has launched preparations for the Second CIS Games due in August 2023. We supported the initiative in the past. You remember that the previous games were held in Kazan in 2021.
If we want to continue this good tradition, I invite all my counterparts to get actively involved in the work and give necessary instructions to all stakeholders in your countries. This sport festival should become another symbol of friendship and cohesion for our peoples.
We are facing difficult challenges, which countries have to solve very quickly. All of this is happening against the backdrop of global uncertainty, which is even more acute than during the spread of COVID.
I am convinced however that through joint efforts, through realization of the full potential of the Eurasian Economic Union, through overcoming national egoism, we will successfully overcome all the challenges.
Thank you for your attention.