In 2017 Belarus continued the policy in favor of building a solid Eurasian Economic Union – stated by a report released by the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sum up results of the country’s foreign policy and the ministry’s efforts in 2017.
According to the source, the year 2017 was noticeably more successful for Eurasian economic integration than the year 2016. Within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union Belarus continued the policy in favor of building a solid economic union via the practical implementation of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty of 29 May 2014 and respect for the interests of all the EAEU member states.
Work on the Eurasian Economic Union Customs Code Agreement was finished taking into account Belarus’ approaches and proposals. The agreement came into force on 1 January 2018. The Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union is a progressive document taking into account modern international practices. It will allow speeding up and simplifying export and import operations between companies inside the Eurasian Economic Union. It will also bolster Belarus’ investment appeal and transit potential.
In 2017 Belarus worked hard to agree the program on setting up common markets of oil and oil products inside the Eurasian Economic Union and the program on forming the common EAEU market for natural gas. Only a number of clauses were left to be agreed as of December 2017. However, those clauses are of principal importance. The sides agreed to revisit them in early 2018.
The partners inside the Eurasian Economic Union welcomed Belarus’ approach to dismantling internal barriers in mutual trade by compiling roadmaps, which are designed to cover two-year periods and address the most sensitive restrictions. The session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, which took place in Yerevan, Armenia on 25 October, passed an action plan (a roadmap) to dismantle restrictions and exemptions on the Eurasian Economic Union domestic market in 2018-2019.
The main guidelines on implementing the Eurasian Economic Union digital agenda till 2025 were passed as well in addition to the procedure on how initiatives should be handled as the sides implement the EAEU digital agenda. Initiatives relating to the development of digital traceability and digital trade, the formation of digital transport corridors will be prioritized.
An action plan was adopted to implement the main directions and stages for implementing a coordinated (agreed) transport policy of the Eurasian Economic Union member states in 2018-2020.
Apart from that, work on the international positioning of the Eurasian Economic Union continued. At multiple international forums held in 2017 Belarus took persistent steps to promote the initiative of the partnership of integrations, striving to establish steady mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation of the Eurasian Economic Union with the European Union, China, SCO countries, other countries and regional integration associations.