_ Timofei Bordachev, PhD (Politics), programme director, Valdai Club Foundation, director, CCEIS, HSE. Moscow, 11 November 2017.
On 11 October 2017, a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council takes place in Sochi with the participation of the presidents of Eurasian Economic Union countries.
In 2018, the chairmanship of the Eurasian Economic Union will be transferred from Kyrgyzstan to Russia. According Russia will continue the agenda, which was promoted by previous chair countries.
This means strengthening of relations with external partners. Preparation of new agreements on free trade zones is the most important vector of external relations of the EAEU, as well as the creation of a single digital platform and the adaptation of the EAEU to the increasing role of digital technologies in the modern economy and society.
Currently the main direction of the EAEU authorities is strengthening the domestic market.
I think that the Eurasian Economic Union is not putting the task of expansion before itself. It believe that the EAEU now complete the tasks it put before itself, when it comes to removing internal tariff and non-tariff barriers or the movement of goods, services, capitals, and possibly the preparation of special agreements with the closest, most interesting partners.
Among such partners are Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Mongolia. Some sort of association agreements could be concluded with them, when the external partners will be somehow involved in the construction of the domestic market.
They would have access to the domestic market of the Eurasian Economic Union and open their markets to the countries and goods of the EAEU. But they will not become members of the EAEU, they will not participate in the activities of its executive and legislative bodies, and thus will not politically transfer their powers and their sovereignty to the Eurasian integration institutions.