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Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko, "Economic interaction, activities on the corporate level facilitate solving problems and development of economic cooperation to a large extent"

Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko, "Economic interaction, activities on the corporate level facilitate solving problems and development of economic cooperation to a large extent"


April 9-10, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Viktor Khristenko paid a working visit to Germany.

Viktor Khristenko participated in the East Forum Berlin. The Forum participants included over 200 representatives of governments, state authorities and business communities from Europe, the Customs Union (CU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

They discussed key issues of trade and economic relations between European and Eurasian spaces, forming of a sustainable model for interaction and integration associations.

April 10, Chairman of the EEC Board took part in a panel discussion "Cooperation or Conflicts? The Future of the Trade Relations in the Light of European Regional Agreements." In his speech, Viktor Khristenko emphasized the strategic nature of the trade relations between the EU and the CU and SES countries. 

He said that in spite of the existing problems, the partners, at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, managed to get away from individual and tiny difficulties and start discussing a major project of the four common spaces. EEC Board Chairman made an example of the Common European Economic Space (CEES) from Lisbon to Vladivostok that served a framework for over a dozen of sectoral dialogs (industry, agriculture, energy, investment, technical regulations) based on two key principles: FTZ++ and WTO+.

Viktor Khristenko emphasized that the cooperation was based on harmonization, rapprochement rather than implementation of standards: "We were moving toward each other, and where necessary created interfaces for common standards to be jointly adopted. And if we were lucky enough we moved further to adopt common standards. They were like nods of a network that tied together the major CEES project. 

Chairman of the EEC Board noted that though the CEES project is not yet implemented, the Commission pays much attention to the experience of the European Union, because it is not only a major trade partner of the CU Member-States but also a model for the integration association. According to Viktor Khristenko, today the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is formed with due regard to the best global experience including the one of the European integration. "Our Eurasian project from the prospective of economic infrastructures is ready to dock with the infrastructures of the European Union, just like a spaceship is ready to dock with the International Space Station, since it is also based on the WTO standards that meet the requirements of the global trade system," said Viktor Khristenko. After Russia's accession to the WTO, the Commission directly implemented a significant part of the Russia's obligations into supranational standards. So, both de jure and de facto, the single market of the CU and SES operates based on the WTO's standards and rules thus becoming ever more open and clear to investors, - said Viktor Khristenko. 

On the same day, during the closing of the East Forum, Viktor Khristenko delivered a report "Connecting East and West. Cooperation Prospectives for the Customs Union and the European Union." He noted that integration associations formed under various formats - regional or otherwise - are the future. The communication between us will be a framework for economic architecture of the future world order.

He emphasized in his report that the CU and SES are exclusively economic associations, not political, and are there to solve the trade and economic issues. According to Viktor Khristenko "Today's key task for the CU is deepening economic integration. We try not to make the same mistakes our colleagues from other integration associations made prioritizing the width at the expense of the depth." 

Viktor Khristenko said that the Commission as an executive body communicates with national governments and business communities of the three CU Member-States, as well as with the business representatives from the key partner-states of the Customs Union.

In his speech, Chairman of the EEC Board also said that in spite of a complicated situation in the global market, the Commission sees quite positive tendencies within the CU and SES. According to Viktor Khristenko, the goods structure of the mutual trade has become more harmonious and of a better quality as compared to the trade with third countries. "The Customs Union promotes improvement of the quality structure of our trade interaction and serves an additional driver for the economy," concluded Viktor Khristenko.

In his opinion, the future Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union are doomed to cooperate. More specifically, he said that the strategic nature of cooperation does not mean absence of sensitive or even conflict topics or situations but presupposes an ability to have open discussions and find compromises. Viktor Khristenko also said that regard for mutual interests through harmonizing, developing of common or rather single standards is the right way to partnership and integration between the EU and the CU. 

For reference

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) is a permanent supranational regulatory body of the Customs Union and Single Economic Space; it began its operation on February 2, 2012. At the moment, three countries are represented in the EEC: the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation. The EEC has the status of a supranational regulatory body. The Commission's decisions are binding in the territory of the three countries. The EEC's principal goal is providing environment for operation and development of the Customs Union and Single Economic Space and ensuring formation of the Eurasian Economic Union. 

The East Forum Berlin is a platform for entrepreneurs and politicians from the East and West to discuss current economic and political issues in order to reach mutual understanding and intensify economic cooperation.