Presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus agree to meet in Moscow on 8 May
Mar 20. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
Presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have agreed to meet in Minsk on 8 May, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters after the meeting of leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia in Astana on 20 March, Kazinform refers to BelTA.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that the heads of state will discuss the issues that were raised at the today’s meeting in Astana. It is expected that the governments of the EEU member states will make concrete decisions regarding these issues before the meeting in May.
The leaders of the three countries discussed cooperation avenues and the measures that should be taken in trade, monetary policy and other areas in order to make ample use of the common resources for sustainable mutually beneficial development.
The Belarusian President noted with satisfaction that the vice premiers of the three countries held productive meetings on 19-20 March. These meetings were aimed at resolving complicated issues which exist in relations between the states. Besides, there were bilateral talks between the presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan, Russia and Kazakhstan to discuss the entire complex of issues in bilateral relations.
Alexander Lukashenko added that at the trilateral meeting the heads of state paid attention to the existing issues, including economic ones. In 2014 and early 2015 the trade turnover reduced. “It is not a good trend, however, we see the reasons. We have discussed these issues and outlined the ways out from the situation. There are complicated issues which have to be resolved, but there is also a simple formula for raising the trade turnover inside the union – we need to sell our own goods,” the Belarusian leader said.
“The need to saturate the internal market with our own goods is number one priority. It is also important to lift emerging barriers to ramp up the trade turnover,” the Belarusian President noted.
Participants of the meeting also discussed the accession of new members to the Eurasian Economic Union. “We have confirmed our wish to make new members of the union observe classical principles which were previously developed by the three countries. We had to work hard to create this union, therefore new members must observe the existing principles,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian President noted that the leaders of the three countries also paid attention to the issues on the political agenda, discussed the progress in the regulation of the Ukrainian crisis and a number of other issues. “At the meeting we have managed to reconcile our positions virtually on all areas of further interaction. We have determined concrete steps to create additional conditions for the development of trade and economic cooperation taking into account new global realities and the current state of affairs in the economies of our countries,” the Belarusian head of state said.
* * *
Vladimir Putin suggests considering currency union within Eurasian Economic Union
Mar 20. Tengrinews
President Vladimir Putin of Russia believes it is time to broach the subject of launching a currency union, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports.
“My partners [that is Presidents of Kazakhstan and Belarus] and I have agreed to further cooperation with regards to monetary policy. I believe the time has come to discuss a possible launch of a currency union”, President Putin when tallying results of the trilateral meeting in Akorda, Astana-based Presidential Residence.
“It’s easier to respond to external financial and economic threats and defend the common market if we all work shoulder to shoulder”, he said.
The subject of a possible currency union was on the agenda back in 2014. Back then Vice Prime Ministers of Russia and Kazakhstan made contradictory statements. Notably, Igor Shuvalov of Russia said a currency union could be considered later on within the Eurasian Economic Union, whereas Bakytzhan Sagintayev of Kazakhstan said a currency union was absolutely out of question.
“”At some point in future we should consider a financial union or even a currency union (…) at the moment these issues are not on the agenda yet”, Igor Shuvalov said May 29, 2014 following the signing of the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union.
“To make it clear (…) we have never broached the subject (…) neither at our level, nor at the level of heads of state. Today President Nazarbayev said Almaty would be positioned as a financial center as part of launching a supra-national financial regulator. There have been no discussions of a currency or financial union”, Bakytzhan Sagintayev said back then.
* * *
EEU to think about forming currency union
Mar 20. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
The Eurasian Economic Union will think about forming a currency union, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters after the meeting with the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan in Astana, BelTA informs.
The presidents agreed to continue coordinating the monetary policy. “We think the time has come to talk about forming a currency union in the future,” Vladimir Putin said. “It is easier to protect the common financial market when working shoulder to shoulder,” the Russian President added.
According to him, the talks between the Presidents were nto long but very intensive and informative. The heads of state discussed the entire range of issues between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. The countries have close trade and investment ties. The aggregate GDP of the troika is 85% of the CIS gross product. Russia ranks first in foreign trade of Belarus and Kazakhstan. In 2014, Russia’s trade with the two countries totaled nearly $60 billion. Belarus and Kazakhstan together hold the third place in the trade balance of the Russian Federation. Investment cooperation has been expanding. The volume of Russian investment in the economy of Belarus and Kazakhstan reached $18 billion. In turn, Belarus and Kazakhstan have invested about $10 billion in Russia. More than 7,000 joint ventures have been set up.
Vladimir Putin believes that an important area of partnership is the industrial and technological cooperation. The countries have been carrying out joint projects in the engineering industry, strengthening ties in the space industry and implementing the roadmap on the joint use of the Baikonur cosmodrome 2014-2016. The energy industries of the three states are interdependent. They closely cooperate in the production, transportation and processing of hydrocarbon raw materials. Russia supports Belarus and Kazakhstan in their nuclear energy programs. Rosatom is building a nuclear power plant in Belarus where the first unit will be launched as early as 2018, is working on the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan, and is involved in the joint production of uranium.
The situation in the global economy that remains fragile was also on the agenda of the Astana meeting. “Low business activity, the stagnation of the global economy, and the volatility of commodity markets have a direct impact on the CIS countries. In 2014, the aggregate GDP growth of the CIS states was only 0.9%. This year the aggregate GDP is expected to decline by approximately 1.4%,” said the Russian head of state.
As for Russia, Vladimir Putin noted that in 2014 its GDP edged up by 0.6% despite the fall in oil prices. “However, our economic situation is not simple. In this context, we have developed a RUB2.3trln anti-crisis plan to support the Russian economy and social sector. Our main goal is to support the industrial and agricultural sectors and to improve the situation with employment. I am convinced that the implementation of these measures will help us gradually restore the sustainable economic growth,” the Russian President said.
Vladimir Putin invited the Presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan to take part in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in Moscow. He also noted that Belarusian and Kazakhstani veterans will take part in the Victory Day parade in Res Square on 9 May 2015.
* * *
2015 to pose great challenge to EEU – Nazarbayev
Mar 20. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
2015 will pose big risks and challenges to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), believes President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The Kazakh leader voiced such opinion during the trilateral meeting with his Belarusian and Russian counterparts in the Akorda presidential residence on Friday.
“I believe we need to talk about the current situation in the world, especially the economic crisis. 2007-2008 financial crisis started in the U.S. and, then, gripped the world. The current crisis in the region was provoked by falling oil prices. In this context, the sales turnover in the EEU member states dropped in 2014. We’ve always known such risks are likely to happen. Our goal right now is to come to an agreement and discuss all the issues. I believe that 2015 will pose great risks and challenges to the EEU,” President Nazarbayev said.
“It is crucial to exchange views on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine that affects other countries,” Nazarbayev added during the meeting.
The Kazakh President stressed the importance of such regular top-level meetings for discussion of promising areas of cooperation.
The presidents of Belarus and Russian, in turn, thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for the invitation to visit Astana and talk over pressing issues.
* * *
Governments of EEU member-states will be instructed to resume growth in mutual trade – Nazarbayev
Mar 20. KAZINFORM. ASTANA
Eurasian Economic Union member-states’ governments will be instructed to resume growth in mutual trade, this has been announced by President Nursultan Nazarbayev at a press briefing after the trilateral meeting of presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.
According to N.Nazarbayev, this year it is necessary to hold detailed discussions of promising areas of cooperation. Moreover, it is important to develop a joint action plan to overcome the crisis acts in our economies.
The President also said that Kazakhstan will actively participate in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War in Moscow. Talking about the conflict in the south-eastern Ukraine, Nursultan Nazarbayev reiterated the position of Kazakhstan to find a diplomatic solution to the problem.
President invited the CIS heads of states to the CIS summit in autumn 2015 in Astana.
* * *
Lukashenko: We should demonstrate economic and political unity in the run-up to Victory Day
Mar 20. KAZINFORM. MINSK
We should demonstrate the economic and political unity in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana on 20 March, BelTA has learned.
“It is clear that in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory we should stay together. There are too many challenges; there have been attempts to rewrite our common history. Therefore, in the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory we should demonstrate the political and economic unity,” the President of Belarus said.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that every year brings new challenges. In his opinion, the time shows that the Eurasian Economic Union was created in time. “The union is not only the declaration of intents. We have passed a lot of documents, formalized the union by singing a number of agreements. We must respond to these challenges within the framework of our union,” the Belarusian leader said.
The Belarusian head of state urged to remember about other members of the union. It is essential to propose new development options to them, BelTA reports.