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Opinions & Interviews

28 Jan 2019

Common gas market, barriers in EAEU on agenda of Belarus-EAEU meeting

Common gas market, barriers in EAEU on agenda of Belarus-EAEU meeting
Photo courtesy of the Eurasian Economic Commission

MOSCOW, 28 January (BelTA) – Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tatyana Valovaya unveiled some details of last week’s meeting with Belarus’ Prime Minister Sergei Rumas as she gave a press conference in Moscow on 28 January, BelTA has learned.

She informed that the parties discussed elimination of barriers in the Eurasian Economic Union and formation of the common gas market.

Tatyana Valovaya noted that the Belarusian premier is very familiar with the Eurasian agenda. “He worked at ground zero of the EAEU Treaty, because back then he was vice-premier in charge of Eurasian integration. He was involved in discussing many arrangements that later found their way into the EAEU Treaty,” she noted.

In her words, she visited Minsk in order to discuss development of a strategic document to further Eurasian integration. “We discussed proposals put forward by Belarus and agreed that we need to be fast and consistent in removing barriers, and reducing exemptions and restrictions. Apart from that, we should step up efforts to achieve the tasks spelled out in the EAEU Treaty,” Tatyana Valovaya said.

Speaking about gas transit tariffs, she emphasized that the matter is not just about tariffs, but about the formation of the common gas market that should come into effect in the EAEU by 2025. “When the presidents [of Belarus and Russia] met in December, they discussed unsettled points of the concept of the common gas market formation, rather than a separate matter related to the transit rates. Therefore, Sergei Rumas and I discussed a broad agenda, the things that are important and relevant for Belarus,” she noted.

According to Tatyana Valovaya, decisions taken at the supranational level should have a bigger weight in the Eurasian Economic Union. “However, while transferring certain matters to the union level we sometimes did not try to make dispute resolution procedures more efficient and to find ways to resolve complicated issues, like transit tariffs. Many decisions, if taken at the EAEU level, rather than the national level, can help us tackle the issues Belarus is dissatisfied with,” she noted.

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