20 Mar 2020 15:07

EEC chief sees possibility to lift all restrictions on trade among EAEU countries

MINSK. March 20 (Interfax) - It is possible and necessary to simultaneously eliminate all existing restrictions in mutual trade among Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries, Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Board Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich said.

"I already voiced the idea, which belongs to Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas. Perhaps it makes sense to make a decision that everyone eliminates [previously imposed restrictions] simultaneously. This, of course, is the purview of heads of state. The commission will prepare convincing calculations," Myasnikovich said in an interview with newspaper Respublika.

He said that as of March 1 there are 66 obstacles in the EAEU, of which 15 are barriers, 14 are exceptions and 37 are restrictions. "It's clear to everyone, I think, that these impediments will not disappear on their own. Obstacles are created by states protecting their markets," Myasnikovich said.

He said that he held consultations with the presidents of EAEU countries, and "I came away from these meetings with the firm conviction that all of the leaders of our nations are in favour of strengthening integration further, which means eliminating obstacles in trade and economic relations."

However, "there is nonetheless a very big distance between the political decisions of heads of state that are aimed at strengthening, expanding integration, and practical affairs that are conducted at the level of the relevant ministries and agencies of each side," Myasnikovich said.

He said the decisions made at the level of presidents must be followed by all national agencies. "The appearance of obstacles is, essentially, the manifestation of countries' internal protectionism. It needs to be and can be eliminated. It is necessary to compel to follow the decisions that are made at the highest level and directly at the level that corresponds to the regulation," Myasnikovich said.