PM Pashinyan reaffirms Armenia’s readiness for close cooperation towards EAEU development
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today attended the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council’s regular meeting, which was held via videoconferencing. The meeting was also attended by RF Premier Mikhail Mishustin, Belarus Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, Acting Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Artyom Novikov, Moldovan Prime Minister Ion Chicu, and Eurasian Economic Commission Board Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich.
Prime Minister Pashinyan addressed the meeting, stating in part:
“Honorable Heads of Government,
Distinguished members of delegation,
I am glad for this opportunity to see you and discuss issues on our cooperation agenda. I would like to thank you for the work done by the Commission in preparation for this on-line meeting under such difficult conditions.
The global pandemic has posed serious challenges to all of us. However, today we can confidently say that it has not affected the effectiveness of our Union. We hope that further coordinated action to combat the new coronavirus infection will lead to positive results in the near future. I am convinced that our joint work and consolidation of efforts to overcome the emerging challenges will provide another basis for deepening the ongoing integration processes.
It is extremely important to find mutually acceptable solutions to all sensitive issues in this difficult period. Passenger traffic restrictions are among our primary concerns - the lifting of the ban on the entry of Armenian citizens to a number of EAEU countries.
This year was especially difficult for Armenia for reasons you all know. Nevertheless, we did not slow down the pace of cooperation; we have been actively involved in all processes underway within the integration area. It should be noted that these days we felt the strong support coming from our partners. We are grateful for the invaluable assistance that the Russian Federation has provided in an effort to help us overcome the difficulties facing our people this year.
Down to the agenda of today’s meeting, I would like to dwell on the following questions: The Armenian side considers that the full implementation of the Strategic Directions for the Development of Eurasian Integration by 2025 Project is a priority. The document seeks to bring the member states’ economic development levels closer to each other, expand the areas of economic cooperation, and improve the regulatory framework.
The mechanisms for building common markets without impediments, shortfalls and restrictions, as specified in that document, are the key to ensuring the four freedoms, the cooperation of our national economies and the overall level of competitiveness. Once implemented, the document will help strengthen the Union’s international standing and will undoubtedly contribute to the growth of its investment and innovative attractiveness.
The need to develop equal, non-discriminatory terms and conditions for competition in all economic sectors is among our key concerns. That is why we believe that a coordinated energy policy should be pursued in order to develop common markets for oil, oil products, gas, as well as a common electricity market.
In this regard, the adoption of an international arrangement on the EAEU common gas market will be of great importance, which implies common approaches to pricing and tariffs within the EAEU common gas market, including common tariffs for transportation and transit-related services provided by the natural gas supplier. We emphasize the need for finding a unified solution and final settlement of the issue of developing a common gas market. We are confident that this will provide necessary conditions for enhanced energy security, economic integration and competitiveness of member nations.
The next issue I would like to address is the formation of a single market for construction services. The adoption of an action plan in this area is an important step in that direction. In the context of the proposed measures, we can develop and sign an international instrument applicable within the EAEU on mutual recognition of professional qualifications of technical personnel engaged in the field of construction.
Finally, I would like to address the issue of providing tariff benefits for goods and services from developing and less developed countries. I consider it necessary to immediately review the list of countries using the common system of tariff privileges. It must be made in accordance with our own standards.
Dear meeting participants,
Concluding my speech, I would like to reaffirm Armenia’s readiness for close cooperation towards Eurasian integration, and urge you to back our initiative aimed at clarifying the list of countries benefiting from common EAEU tariff privileges in accordance with the legal norms applicable within the Union.
Whereas this is the last meeting of the Intergovernmental Council this year, I would like to once again thank you for active cooperation and wish you all the best. Thank you.”
A wide range of issues related to Eurasian integration were discussed during the meeting: trade, internal market activity, competition, industry, technical standards, etc. During the expanded session, the EAEU heads of government signed the minutes and the documents on the adopted decisions.