Putin Explains Eurasian Integration Is ‘Gathering Momentum’
May 27, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (SEEC) met today, the day after the remarkable First Eurasian Economic Forum held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Participating, personally and online, were the heads of state and government of the five Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, plus the Chairman of its Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Board Mikhail Myasnikovich and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, an EAEU observer state.
The Supreme Council approved the overall guidelines for 2022-23 macroeconomic policy submitted by the Eurasian Economic Council, which include as a priority “creating favorable conditions for increasing investment in the real sector of the economy, developing the scientific, technological and industrial potential of the Union,” the EEC website reports, citing EEC Integration and Macroeconomics Minister Sergey Glazyev. (in Russian)
The EAEU members are eager to expand their partners. Talks with Indonesia on a free trade agreement were agreed on. “The Eurasian Five,” as Vladimir Putin called them in his address to today’s Supreme Council meeting, are working to turn the temporary FTA signed with Iran in 2018 into a permanent agreement. Eurasian integration is “gathering momentum,” Putin explained, and urged that ongoing talks with Egypt on a FTA be sped up, and the possibility of such a trade agreement to be explored with the U.A.E.
The potential for economic growth from Eurasian integration generated the extensive participation by people from many corners of the globe, in the Eurasian Economic Forum the day prior. Venezuela’s Vice President urged cooperation mechanisms between the countries of Eurasia and Ibero-America be strengthened, in her video address to the forum. The Russian diplomat who heads the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Secretariat discussed the opportunities for EAEU partners in Africa, and officials from ASEAN spoke. The head of the Association of European Businesses hoped to keep “communication channels” open, despite “geopolitics.”
The spirit of the Forum is best captured by the May 26 statement by the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Zhang Ming of China, who called for the EAEU and the SCO to “unite forces,” to face the global crisis. The two organizations established the legal basis for cooperation in September 2021, he said, and now that can be expanded.
“The population of the SCO is over 3 billion people, this is half the population of the Earth…. Using our resources, we should cooperate with the world and promote the domestic market…. Changes in the world are of a colossal nature, but they also provide new opportunities for development. As important participants in the global process, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should unite. Only by joining forces, we will be able to build a new world order,”