CIS countries could become Eurasian Economic Union observers

Russia considers it necessary to accelerate the development of digital economy within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), President Vladimir Putin said in his address to heads of EAEU countries released on the Kremlin website.

“We assume it is necessary to accelerate implementation of the whole ‘digital agenda’ of the Union, and to coordinate efforts on development of ‘Internet economy’, creation of general digital trade rules, equal standards of exchange and protection of information,” the statement said.

 

The Russian leader also called for enacting high technologies in public administration, industry, customs regulation systems and other areas, as well as “launching joint competitive, innovative and knowledge-intensive industries.”

According to Putin, more efforts are required to involve business circles into integration initiatives, including both big, and small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), “to use the resources of the Eurasian Development Bank and the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development more efficiently to finance supranational projects with strong integration effect.” Such areas as nuclear energy, renewable energy sources, ecology, medicine, space, tourism and sports provide great opportunities for boosting ties between EAEU member-countries, President said, adding that as of now those fields of cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union “are almost uncovered, though there is a fair amount of interest to them, both from the side of businesses and population.” “That is why it seems to be important to dive into those issues in multisided format,” Putin noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has  also called for expansion of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and other countries and integrations.

“We consider it reasonable to explore opportunities of establishing deeper ties between the Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States, certain members of which could become EAEU observers,” he said in a statement addressed to heads of EAEU countries.

Putin also urged efforts to cooperate with other countries. “The free trade zone with Vietnam has been successfully operating since 2016,” he said. “We expect the talks that are currently underway on creation of free trade zones with Egypt, Israel, India, Iran, Serbia and Singapore to be fruitful. We see great potential in signing the agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the Eurasian (Economic) Union and the People’s Republic of China. I am convinced that the Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese initiative ‘One Belt, One Road’ can effectively complement each other,” he said.

According to the Russian president, Moscow is poised for expansion of cooperation between the EAEU and the United Nations and its structures. “We think it is important for the Union to further help implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other top global initiatives,” he noted.

He also considers it necessary to “jointly strengthen the positions of the Union in the WTO, and promote the EAEU’s full-fledged participation in other international organizations, including the World Customs Organization.”

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