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Opinions & Interviews

5 Mar 2014

Lukashenko: Eurasian Economic Union should be based on full-fledged CU

Lukashenko: Eurasian Economic Union should be based on full-fledged CU

MOSCOW, 5 March (BelTA) – The establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union should be based on the full-fledged Customs Union without any exemptions, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on the level of the heads of state that is taking place in the official residence of the Russian President in Novo-Ogaryovo on 5 March, BelTA has learnt.

“Our principled position is the following: the Eurasian Economic Union should be based on the full-fledged Customs Union without exemptions, in particular, without duties, quantitative restrictions or anything else,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian President pointed to the two things that are crucial for Belarus when it comes to the Eurasian Economic Union. “First of all, we should achieve tangible results in our integration project. One of the targets is to complete the formation of the Customs Union that will have no restrictions and exemptions. We have made the biggest progress here. Only a few exemptions are left, but these exemptions apply to very sensitive commodities, like alcohol, tobacco, medicines, oil and gas. We need to make a principled decision on them,” the Belarusian President said.

At the same time Alexander Lukashenko noted that some started linking the abolition of exemptions on commodities to the abolition of exemptions on services, capital and workforce. “The freedom of movement of goods should become an example for us in addressing other matters related to these freedoms. Otherwise, the future economic union will have no solid foundation. Simultaneously, we keep working on the provisions that were formalized in the basic agreements of the Single Economic Space,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on the level of the headsSpeaking about the draft agreement, Alexander Lukashenko noted that Belarus’ position on the individual provisions of the institutional part of the document was voiced during the previous meeting of the heads of state in Moscow. Experts are working now to harmonize it.

Speaking about the functional part of the document, the Belarusian President noted that although the work was intensified, only 70-80% of the document has been prepared, the same as by the time of the previous meeting. The partners made little headway in reconciling their positions on the most sensitive commodities. “This pertains to the formation of the common energy market, liberalization of the road transportation market, access to the gas transportation system, subsidies for agriculture. The partners keep putting forward new suggestions that can wash out the existing arrangements,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko suggested focusing efforts on improving the legal framework of the SES provided all the three partners agree with the new suggestions. If someone objects, the partners should include the existing provisions related to the SES into the draft agreement without any changes in order to avoid any setbacks. Otherwise, the preparation of the agreement might drag on for a long time and the commissioning of the Eurasian Economic Union will be delayed,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

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