Eurasian Economic Union leaders to discuss economic measures to combat coronavirus

Leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will convene today over videoconference for an unscheduled meeting on the bloc’s response

eeau meeting

Photo: Kremlin

Leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will convene today over videoconference for an unscheduled meeting on the bloc’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s conference comes after the organisation met on Friday to begin reviewing a draft resolution on measures to ensure economic stability in the wake of the pandemic.

The proposed measures have been divided into two packages. The first is a plan for urgent, temporary stabilisation measures, including a comprehensive EAEU plan to review and ensure open channels of access to critical supplies. The second package includes a plan to facilitate the implementation of macroeconomic stimulus actions, through a network of collaborating regional financial institutions.

Current “traditional” measures to fight the virus—like raising public awareness of the importance of proper hygiene—are likely to be supplemented in the coming weeks by a more aggressive plan of action to confront the bloc’s over 20,000 cases of the virus. Such additions could include billions of dollars of international borrowing and importation of critical medical technologies. This borrowing and importation—at least with medical technologies—could see China’s influence in the bloc increase, especially as Russia faces its own burdens with a ballooning outbreak.

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