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Decision to grant Cuba Observer State status at EAEU can be adopted before year-end 2020

Decision to grant Cuba Observer State status at EAEU can be adopted before year-end 2020

9/24/2020

On September 24, a delegation of the Republic of Cuba headed by Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Deputy Prime Minister, paid an official visit to the Eurasian Economic Commission. The EEC’s headquarters hosted joint consultations between the Commission, the Eurasian Economic Union States and the Republic of Cuba on clarifying certain aspects of granting the Observer State status at the EAEU to the country as well as meetings between the Cuban delegation, Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the EEC Board, and Sergei Glazyev, Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the EEC.

Earlier, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was informed about Cuba's desire to obtain the Observer State status at the EAEU. The Heads of State have instructed to hold joint consultations with the Republic to clarify technical issues and further prospects for cooperation.

During joint consultations at the EEC’s headquarters, the Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Union countries expressed their absolute support for the initiative of the Cuban side. As noted by Sergei Glazyev, the Union countries are already interacting with Cuba within the Memorandum signed in 2018. But there is a great mutual desire to increase cooperation.

​​"The Observer State status will enable Cuba to intensify interaction with the EAEU countries. Manufacturing industry, healthcare, energy, transport and agricultural sector can be priority sectors for cooperation," Sergei Glazyev stressed.

Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the EEC Board, congratulated the Cuban delegation on the successful consultations: "I think that the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will adopt the relevant decision already this year. The Commission, for its part, has completed all the procedures required to submit this issue for consideration by our States’ presidents."

"Unfortunately, the volume of mutual trade between the EAEU and Cuba is still low. The year 2018 was the best one with about 420 million dollars. Primarily, this is due to the fact that trade is mainly carried out with the Russian Federation (95% of the total trade volume). Our possibilities are much greater," the Chairman of the EEC Board said.

He has added that the Commission will motivate the Union countries to increase trade turnover and expressed hope for intensifying this work by the Cuban side.

In turn, Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz thanked the Commission and the Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Union countries for their support. He has stated that the Republic is ready to follow the provisions of the Treaty on the EAEU regarding the Observer State status. Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz has noted that Cuba is ready to define its permanent representative in the EAEU governing bodies, and language is not a barrier for the Cuban side.

"All work should be aimed at the benefit of our peoples. Neither language nor distance can prevent from developing our relations. We have one common language - solidarity, cooperative ties and complementarity of all our countries," Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz noted.

The Observer State status at the EAEU enables the country to attend the EAEU governing bodies’ meetings by invitation without the right to participate in decision-making as well as to receive non-confidential documents being adopted by the governing bodies. Currently, the Republic of Moldova has this status.

For reference

Main exports of the EAEU countries to Cuba are machinery and equipment (primarily, trucks and railway locomotives), mineral products and food products (primarily, soybean oil). Food products (primarily, sugar, crustaceans), spirits, coffee and tobacco products are mainly imported from Cuba.​