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23 Apr 2020

Belarus calls for honest, open negotiations on fundamental EAEU matters

Belarus calls for honest, open negotiations on fundamental EAEU matters
Sergei Rumas

MINSK, 23 April (BelTA) – It is necessary to honestly and openly negotiate and come to terms on matters of fundamental importance for the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas made the relevant statement an extraordinary videoconference session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council on 23 April, BelTA has learned.

Sergei Rumas said: “The draft strategic directions [to guide the development of Eurasian economic integration till 2025] are the result of a rather complicated compromise of the sides. However, in the spheres that are crucial to the creation and operation of a genuine economic union we should honestly and openly come to terms in order to avoid repeating the fate of a number of prototypes of the economic union.”

According to the prime minister, only one but most sensitive issue was left unresolved in the course of preparing the draft strategic directions. It is reportedly the procedure for setting tariffs on gas transportation on the common natural gas market of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Sergei Rumas pointed out that the realization of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty requires ambitious decisions on advancing integration, on expanding areas of economic cooperation, and on improving institutions of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Sergei Rumas said: “I will not try to evaluate whether the draft strategic directions live up to the premise or not. Many genuinely ambitious proposals of the Eurasian Economic Commission have been ruled out thanks to efforts of individual experts even before they had a chance to be reviewed at a high level. The softest possible wording has been adopted with regard to a number of measures. Only the practice of implementation of the strategic directions will demonstrate how far we can go in various integration spheres.”

The Belarusian head of government reminded that on 6 December 2018 the heads of state gave instructions to prepare the strategic integration directions for approval by the end of 2019. “Unfortunately, we’ve broken the deadline. Nevertheless, I hope that the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will approve the strategic directions during the next session on 19 May,” Sergei Rumas said.

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