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24 Oct 2017

Eurasian integration prospects discussed at international conference in Minsk

MINSK, 25 October (BelTA) – The Eurasian integration development prospects were discussed at the international conference entitled as Eurasian Economic Union: Experience and Prospects of Regional Integration. The conference took place in Minsk, BelTA informs.

Taking part in the event organized by the Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Ukraine were scholars, researchers, representatives of state and public organizations of Belarus, Austria, Armenia, Germany, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The Eurasian Economic Union, as a relatively new integration association, attracts the attention of politicians, experts, and the general public both in the EAEU member states and from abroad. The great economic, resource and political potential of the union is an important factor in the transformation of the international system.

Scholars and experts praised the high political weight and importance of the EAEU in the post-Soviet space and also discussed the legal framework of the operation of the union. In particular, chairman of the board of the Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies Andrei Rusakovich stressed the importance of expert assessment of the results of the work of the EAEU and voiced great hopes on the member states of the union. He also expressed his hope for the further search for common interests in the EAEU and in such major international associations as the European Union that could become the basis for further constructive relationships and dialogue.

Deputy Director of the Berlin Center for East European Studies Dmitry Stratiyevsky pointed in his report to a rather wide and often just the opposite perception of the EAEU and the integration processes by the German media. He made a conclusion of its dependence on political orientation and the readership. At the same time, there are a lot of both positive and sharply negative assessments of the prospects for the integration association and its relations with the European Union. Peter Havlik from the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies presented the prospects for building EU-EAEU relations, and took note of a number of imbalances that impede interaction. According to the expert, the existing barriers in the cooperation between the two associations are a challenge for Eurasian specialists who try to find solutions to existing problems, explore the potential for cooperation and work out solutions that would contribute to the development of both the unions.

Associate Professor of the Department of International Relations at the Belarusian State University Alexander Tikhomirov, made a conclusion based on the experience of Belarus' participation in integration initiatives that the country is interested in the implementation of its own national interests within the framework of the EAEU.

The conference participants stressed the importance of expert assessment of the results of the work of the EAEU, emphasized the need to develop further dialogue between the expert communities in the context of developing mechanisms for interaction between the EAEU and other international associations. During the discussion, experts and analysts shared their views on the most relevant developments in the Eurasian integration, assessed the already existing results in the work of the EAEU. All this shows that the issues of Eurasian integration arouse serious interest both in Belarus and abroad from the expert and scientific community that offer their own recipes for overcoming the problems and developing the union.


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