In his opening remarks as the summit’s host, Dmitry Medvedev proposed discussing, in particular, implementation of the last EurAsEC summit’s agreements on reorganising the Community and issues related to integration development in the post-Soviet area.
Besides Russia’s president, the summit’s other participants are President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, and the heads of state of EurAsEC observer countries – President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, and Acting President of Moldova Marian Lupu. Also taking part in the summit are EurAsEC Secretary-General Tair Mansurov and Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s Board Viktor Khristenko. The participants were joined later by the members of their delegations.
The summit participants signed the following documents: Decision of the EurAsEC Interstate Council On Progress on the Draft Agreement on Reorganising Eurasian Economic Community; Decision of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council On the Start of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s Operation; Decision of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council On Progress on the Implementation of Decision No. 70 by the Heads of State of December 9, 2010 On Unification of Passport and Visa Control in the Customs Union’s Member-States.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Colleagues and friends,
Once more, I wish you a warm welcome to this expanded meeting of the EurAsEC Interstate Council and Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.
We had very productive and useful talks in narrow format. We agreed on how to continue developing the integration processes and how the EurAsEC institutions will operate over the coming period. We also agreed that soon, once the authorised representatives and the Board hold additional consultations, the next EurAsEC summit will examine the specific options for reorganising these institutions.
The Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan has been operating in full since July 1 last year and the legal agreements at the base of the Common Economic Space came into force from January this year. We have thus launched the process of building the common market that will see a free flow of goods, services, labour, and capital between our countries.
This, in our view, is a project of paramount importance, and the discussions during the meeting in narrow format showed that it is based on a clear concept and has clear prospects ahead.
I propose that we now hear from Mr Khristenko on the specific issues regarding the EurAsEC Board’s work.
President of the Eurasian Economic Commission’S Board Viktor Khristenko: Presidents,
In accordance with your decisions, the Eurasian Economic Commission commenced work from the start of this year. Over this time Commission’s Council has held two meetings. The first meeting decided its members and also its chairman – Mr Rumas, deputy prime minister of Belarus.
Starting from February 1, 2012 the Board’s members have all been carrying out their duties and have been holding weekly meetings in accordance with the agreement [on its operation], examining matters of substance related to customs and tariff regulations, introduction of protective measures in the common market, clarification of codification issues and so on.
Of course, organisational decisions account for a substantial portion of the work at the moment. These decisions concern procedures for examining the issues that come up. In particular, we are actively in the process of setting up consultative committees that include official representatives of the member-countries’ governments.
We have already set up three consultative committees so far: on trade policy, on tax policy and administration, and on health and phytosanitary measures. This allows us to cover activities in these areas on an on-going basis, making use of the expanded powers that the commission has received.
The human resources side of things is one of the big issues the commission needs to address, and in accordance with the agreement that was signed, all appointments are made through a competitive selection procedure. This selection process is already underway and the Commission has already opened around 350 positions for applications. At the moment, we have around three people competing for every one position.
We have already appointed eight department heads. These are very experienced, efficient and professional people who have held important civil service positions in their own countries. I am certain that over these next two months we can put together the backbone of our professional team in accordance with the agreements on each country’s representation. I remind you that under the agreements, 6 percent of the positions go to Belarus, 10 percent to Kazakhstan, and 84 percent to the Russian Federation.
I can also tell you that the formal organisational procedures are completed now and the Commission has thus been duly registered as a legal entity, registered with all the relevant agencies, and has opened ruble and foreign currency accounts. We have full cooperation with the member-countries’ finance ministries and our work is thus being funded on a routine basis now.
The Russian Federation Government is in the process of completing work to assign an appropriate building to house the Commission. All in all, our activity is fully underway and I think we are working at a decent pace.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you, Mr Khristenko.
We agreed during the meeting in narrow format not to open a separate discussion, given that we share a common position on the matters of substance on the agenda, and so I think we can move on to signing the documents.