Eurasian Economic Council meets to discuss economic integration

The Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission will today hold a meeting to revise its economic integration strategy. The Council

Eurasian economic council

Photo: akorda.kz

The Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission will today hold a meeting to revise its economic integration strategy.

The Council acts as the permanent regulatory body of the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EEU) five current members—Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. The union has an integrated market of over $5 trillion and has voiced plans to adopt a common currency. In a meeting last week, delegates discussed a roadmap to expand membership by granting Uzbekistan “observer state” status. They also negotiated the potential integration of the technical regulation and drug markets.

While the formation of the EEU in 2015 seemed to indicate Russia’s growing influence, the union today has stagnated due to sluggish economic growth in Russia and falling intra-EEU trade. Although the states have made plans to establish single markets for oil, gas and electricity by 2025, the union still lacks a plan for how to do so. Meanwhile, Russia’s moves to “securitise” the EEU as a sphere of influence—for instance, by pushing Armenia to join the EEU and drop an association agreement with the EU—have only hindered its movement towards a goal of establishing a free trade zone that will boost member economies. Expect the Council to work towards generating concrete steps for integration in sectors like energy while attempting to stimulate economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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