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EEC Minister Veronika Nikishina: "The Greater Eurasian Partnership should take into account the interests of all players in the Eurasian space"

EEC Minister Veronika Nikishina: "The Greater Eurasian Partnership should take into account the interests of all players in the Eurasian space"

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12/10/2019

At a meeting of the Federation Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Veronika Nikishina, Member of the Board - Minister in charge of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), spoke on the issues of forming the Greater Eurasian Partnership between the States of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), China, the European Union, the ASEAN, and the SCO, as well as implementing for this purpose the agreements to couple the EAEU construction with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

According to the EEC Minister, shaping the prospect of Greater Eurasia should become an explicit and dynamically implemented EAEU's strategy aimed at creating a broad trade and entrepreneurial area for all those who work within this space.

Veronika Nikishina mentioned that the Declaration on Further Development of Integration Processes within the EAEU dated December 6, 2018, became the first instrument to determine the common task of developing the Greater Eurasian Space idea, which formed the basis for developing a particular joint action plan.

In this regard, the EEC Minister noted that the Union faced the task of formulating concrete proposals to build a system of mutually beneficial relations between the key players in Eurasia that would involve all interested States on a mutually beneficial basis. The EEC Minister also mentioned that the Greater Eurasian Partnership should be formed on such principles as interdependence, flexible forms of association, and wide coverage.

According to the EEC Minister, in today’s economic and political realities, China is the "natural partner" for the EAEU to begin "unfolding" the Greater Eurasian Partnership. "The coupling of the EAEU and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative will constitute not only its important part, but also, as we hope, will become an engine, a "pilot project" for the idea in general," Veronika Nikishina stated.

From this perspective, the EEC Minister pointed out the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation, which has entered into force on October 25 this year and has been identified by the EAEU countries' leaders as the optimal format for "launching" the coupling of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Project. According to Veronika Nikishina, the Agreement is aimed not only at increasing the level of transparency of the regulatory system and facilitating trade procedures, but also at developing sectoral interaction with China.

For implementing this approach, within the Joint Commission for the Agreement, it is proposed to create a platform that will ensure the trilateral interaction of regulators, financial development institutions, and the business community of the EAEU and the PRC for discussing joint projects. The platform is meant to be a kind of "incubator" for projects.

At the same time, the EEC Minister noted that all the EAEU's integration initiatives, the conclusion of free trade agreements and memorandums of cooperation should be understood as interconnected elements of the Greater Eurasian Partnership. "We have proceeded to develop a relevant conceptual document," Veronika Nikishina stated.​