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Heads of the EAEU States at the SEEC session summarised and outlined the prospective development of the Eurasian Economic Union

Heads of the EAEU States at the SEEC session summarised and outlined the prospective development of the Eurasian Economic Union


On May 31 Astana hosted the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (SEEC), which was attended by the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan.

During the event, the Heads of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries discussed the most topical issues and prospects of the Union.

Opening the session, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev congratulated all present on the second anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty on the EAEU. The President emphasised, that "in spite of its short period of existence, and the economic difficulties that we are experiencing in the early stages, it is now safe to say that the EAEU has come to be a fully-fledged integration association. Now, the convergence of our economies is taking place in accordance with the plans and deadlines that we have outlined in the Treaty on the EAEU." Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed his confidence that the implementation of the Union’s objectives and principles will serve as a powerful impetus for the economies of the Member States.

In his speech, the President noted the growing interest in the economic unification worldwide. The possibilities of establishing trade and economic relations with the EAEU are being considered by integration organisations such as the EU, SCO, ASEAN and others. He therefore recalled that, at his suggestion as the SEEC Chairman, 2016 had been declared "the year of the deepening economic relations between the EAEU and third countries and key integration associations." "In the EAEU, we see an open community, organically integrated into the global economic system that serves as a reliable bridge between Europe and Asia,” - said Nursultan Nazarbayev. The head of state stressed that the unified market of the Union must become a bridge between East and West, North and South.

According to the President of Kazakhstan, the free movement of goods and services within the Union is in line with "Silk Road Economic Belt" initiative put forward by China.

The head of state highlighted the fact that the negative events currently taking place in the global economy are a test for everyone and require further coordinated work on the EAEU platform. "We should look for opportunities even in these difficult conditions where we are experiencing a sharp decline in mutual trade to find other ways of cooperation," said the President of Kazakhstan.

The President of Kazakhstan pledged that, under Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the EAEU, all efforts will be made this year to promote the further successful and dynamic development of the integration association.

The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan stressed that economic integration requires increased coordination in approaches at the macroeconomic level. "Therefore, we attach great importance to the consistent implementation of the main guidelines of the macroeconomic policy of the EAEU member states in 2016 and 2017 and the development of existing mechanisms on the convergence of our economic potential. This will facilitate an improvement in the sustainability of the economies of our countries, and aid us in overcoming the consequences of the current adverse economic situation. We must make every effort to make our integration an attractive model of economic partnership that is open to broad cooperation with all interested parties in the wider context of the increasing share of regional structures worldwide," Serzh Sargsyan said.

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko highlighted the difficulties in implementing the objectives set for the purposes of EAEU development. "Two years ago we signed the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. Over this period, serious conceptual decisions have been made: the foundation for the liberalisation of transport services, the formation of a single electrical power market, and export policy has been laid. Unfortunately, not everything is developing as we had planned. There are still problems the most pressing of which we have discussed today. First of all, there is a need to transform theoretical know-how into practical results," said the President of Belarus.

In particular, Alexander Lukashenko pointed out the need to eliminate internal exemption and restrictions to mutual trade, to implement initiatives for the development of the functioning of the mechanism of the EAEU when one of the member states applies unilateral market protection measures in relation to third countries. In addition, there was particular note of the importance of implementation of the objectives related to industrial cooperation, the energy sector, and the creation of a common market of medicines and medical products.

The president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev urged the Heads of the Member States to make every effort to eliminate barriers to the achievement of the main goals and objectives of the integration process. He noted the enormous potential of the Union. "There have clearly already been some results and progress. There have been some mistakes too, as well as some artificially created problems. We must clearly realize for ourselves that our peoples have no other alternatives. We are responsible for the future of the Eurasian Economic Union, for the future of our countries. It will require work and patience, wisdom and cooperation between our peoples and the heads of the states, as well as all ministries and departments. I believe in the future of the EAEU," said Almazbek Atambayev.

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin praised the work undertaken within the framework of the EAEU. "Over one and a half years of the Eurasian Economic Union’s operation, a great deal has been done to promote the large-scale integration project. Most importantly, it can be stated with good reason that the Union has succeeded as a modern international organisation aimed at solving the specific problems concerning the economic development of our countries," said the Head of State.

According to the Russian President, "several areas require further work at the same active pace. This applies, in particular, to the preparation of a new Customs Code and the Agreement on the Procedure for the conclusion of international treaties by the Union, i.e., the further promotion of integration depends on the timely adoption of the regulations necessary for our development."

Vladimir Putin noted that the effective functioning of the integration association requires a systematic relationship building with external partners. "We support the proposal made by Kazakhstan's chairmanship that the focus should be on the further deepening of economic relations between the Union and other countries and integration associations." In particular, the President of the Russian Federation welcomed Kazakhstan’s initiative to hold an international conference on the establishment of cooperation between the Eurasian Union and the EU. "It is vital that the Eurasian Economic Commission be actively involved in its elaboration," concluded the President.