Prime Minister of Armenia Karen Karapetyan participaed in the regular meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The narrow-format meeting of EEU heads of government was followed by a joint photo session, after which the heads of government immediately proceeded to the Council’s enlarged meeting.
Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan delivered a speech at the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council’s enlarged meeting.
Statement by Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan
Dear Heads of Government,
Dear Andrey Vladimirovich, please accept my vote of thanks for hospitality and good organization of the meeting.
We have already considered a number of key issues of the integration agenda in a narrow format. Concerning the items on the plenary session agenda, I wish to state that Armenia is for the adoption of the draft documents agreed for this meeting. However, I would like to dwell on some of them.
I think we all equally share the approach that the international activity, which goes in line with the formation of foreign policy of the EEU, the deepening of the Union’s economic relations with third countries and key integration associations, is above all intended to promote the modernization of the national economies of the Member States and enhance their competitiveness.
In this context, I would highlight the need for consistent efforts with the specialized agencies of the UN system, as well as toward outlining the scope of interaction with the European Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other organizations.
We believe that the ongoing talks with China, Israel and Serbia, in particular, need to be broadened through the launch of substantive consideration of the expediency of negotiations with other countries.
Taking into account the work on the conclusion of a possible the free trade zone agreement the Republic of India, it seems reasonable that the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council should also consider the question of starting talks over the EEU-India track in December, 2016 without linking it to the issue of cooperation in the multilateral EEU-SCO format.
I believe it to be in our common interest to conclude a relevant agreement with Iran. We believe that there is an opportunity to simultaneously work on the scheme ensuring the implementation of an interim agreement in parallel with the EEU-Iran negotiations on conclusion of a free (preferential) trade agreement.
We believe that the expansion of international and multi-format cooperation must be based on real premises and structured so as to take into account the actual willingness of third countries to establish cooperation with both individual EEU-member States and the Eurasian Economic Union, as a whole.
Considering the differences in the regulatory frameworks of member States, we fully share the approach that focuses on ensuring the legitimacy of the turnover of goods across the EEU customs territory through the introduction of a traceability mechanism.
Given the importance of the issue and its complexity, it is important to build further work proceeding from the belief that it should not lead to additional tax and customs encumbrances, higher prices for goods and services and, at the same time, would not adversely affect the member States’ investment attractiveness and macroeconomic indicators.
This mechanism needs to be introduced in such a way that its activation would not lead in any way to the opposition of one of the pillars of our Union – the free movement of goods. Therefore, we are ready to actively cooperate with the countries in a bid to work out the problems existing in this regard.
I believe that the joint efforts to implement the agreements reached today will allow significant progress on the integration path. The Armenian side is ready for close cooperation with all partners.
The enlarged meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council discussed and approved a number of documents. In particular, the Council approved the unified budget for 2017 and the 2015 budget performance of EEU bodies.
The meeting highlighted the need for closer cooperation with third countries, as well as deepening of economic and trade relations between the Member States. In particular, the speakers emphasized that a number of countries have shown interest in cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union in various formats, and appropriate steps are being taken to that effect.
The meeting participants congratulated the prime ministers of Armenia and Kazakhstan for assuming the office of head of government and attending the proceedings of the Council for the first time.