Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in expanded format.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
Over the 18 months since the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was launched we have done a great deal to promote this major integration project. Most importantly, we have every reason to say that the union is succeeding as a modern international organisation committed to addressing the specific economic development issues our countries are facing.
After Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined the EAEU, the Eurasian five formed a large common market with a total population of over 182 million people. As the Union’s supra-national body, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) ensures continuity in the management of integration processes. The EEC appointed a new board, effective February 1, that got down to work with little delay. The organisation of the Commission has also been honed to better suit its current purpose. A solid contractual legal framework is in place and continues to expand under the plans we agreed on. Over 60 agreements have been executed in the follow-up to the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.
We need to continue this momentum in a number of areas, primarily, in the drafting of the Customs Code and the agreement on the procedure for executing international agreements by the union. This goes to say that further integration efforts will be contingent upon the timely adoption of the statutory documents that are needed for further development.
A lot has been achieved in terms of reducing mutual barriers to the free movement of goods, labour, services and capital. I can’t but agree with our colleagues who say that there are still too many barriers. Let me just remind you that of the 422 trade restrictions that were identified during the drafting of the Treaty on the Union, over 80 have already been removed, another 30 are about to be removed, and 16 are expected to disappear in 2016.
To be continued.