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Lukashenko: Economic war is raging around Eurasian Economic Union

MINSK (BelTA) – A very serious situation is developing around the Eurasian Economic Union, an economic war is going on, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich on 30 November, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is scheduled for 11 December. “The agenda has been finalized. You know my position, and that of Belarus in general. It is high time for us to meet face to face (not on TV, but to talk frankly), because there are a lot of problems: from military, military-political to economic ones. Moreover, it is a very difficult year. You probably have not experienced anything like this either. But it can get even worse, ” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, the global economy collapsed this year, and the crisis also affected the EAEU space. “It will be very hard to recover. Moreover, a confrontation has begun; in fact, an open economic war is going on and it has already affected the diplomatic elite in mass media, things are getting really tough. I have already cited facts regarding the designs of some of our neighbors supported by some strong states. Therefore, the situation around is very serious, and we need to discuss these problems face to face [with the leaders of the EAEU countries],” the head of state emphasized.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is possible that at the end of the year the heads of state will be able to meet in person. Previously, similar negotiations took place in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. Minsk is also ready to be the host. “It doesn't matter where, but it's time to seriously discuss the problems that are facing us,” he said.

The agenda of the upcoming summit will include a total of 28 issues; the EAEU leaders will discuss four of them in a narrow circle. “We keep insisting that we should address the unsettled issues in a hard-and-fast manner, without delays and red tape. Moreover, the situation prompts us to stay together, as Putin always emphasizes. It is easier to overcome any difficulties together,” the president is convinced.

Top on the agenda will be the strategic areas of Eurasian integration until 2025. “We agreed that we will finally resolve the problem of common markets, primarily that of natural gas. The only pending issue is a fair price for gas transportation. This is important for us and for others. We should also discuss the import of civil aircraft to the territory of the union. It was Kazakhstan's suggestion. Kazakhstan also suggests addressing a personnel issue. I would like to hear your opinion on what position Belarus could take in this regard,” the head of state added.

A reminder, the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is scheduled for 11 December. Given the epidemiological situation, it will be held by means of teleconferencing. According to preliminary data, the agenda will include 28 issues. The leaders of the EAEU countries are expected, among other things, to approve the strategic areas of Eurasian integration until 2025. The document was supposed to be signed by the heads of state back in May, but due to some loose ends the document was ‘approved only at large'.

No agreement had been reached over the prices for gas transportation, Iya Malkina, Aide to the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, told a web-based press briefing on 25 November. “The draft decision of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on strategic areas of Eurasian integration until 2025 was approved by the EEC Council. According to Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission Sergei Glazyev, almost all points have been reconciled by the parties. Sensitive disagreements over prices for gas transportation services in the common gas market of the union remain unresolved,” Iya Malkina said.