18 December 2017
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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

12.04.2016

Russia calls upon EU to engage with EAEU (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) became a new meaningful element of the global economic architecture. It is a huge economic market that comprises 182.7 million people, constitutes the 6th world’s trading organization per GDP (USD 2.2 trillion) and covers 14 % of the world’s land surface (over 20 million square kilometers).
The EU remains the largest trading partner for the EAEU: in terms of import (with 43.8% of market share in 2014), followed by China (19.4%), USA (6.7%), Ukraine (4.4%), Japan (3.9%), and in terms of export (in 2014 the EU share in total EAEU export was 56.5%), followed by China (8.6%), Turkey (4.8%), Japan (3.7%). It seems logical for these two trading organizations to combine potential to create a free-trade area. This initiative was proposed by President Vladimir Putin at the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels in January 2014.
Unfortunately, the Ukrainian political crisis and the coup in February 2014, which resulted from the EU pushing Kiev hard on the Association without any open debate or democratic consultation, had a negative impact on the prospects of EU-EAEU interaction. The fact that the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) was incompatible with Russia’s and Ukraine’s commitments under the CIS Free Trade Area (CIS FTA), has been disregarded by the previous Brussels team who deliberately or by ignorance laid the groundwork for the Ukrainian crisis including its economic dimension. As a result, Russia had to suspend CIS FTA trade preferences for Ukraine “due to exceptional circumstances affecting the interests and economic security of the Russian Federation” from 1 January 2016 until further notice.
Meanwhile, the idea of a possible cooperation between the EAEU and the EU could help bridge that split. According to the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, “the EU is supportive of worldwide trade integration”, although, of course, the decision is to be made by the EU Member States.
We believe that the EAEU and the EU have everything that it takes for a real partnership, including a high level of economic complementarity and commitments to the same, WTO standards of trade. The fact that the Eurasian and the European integration models rely on the WTO system provides a sound foundation for a comprehensive work to eliminate barriers to trade and investments and to harmonise the legal framework, business principles and technical standards. All the parties to this eventual agreement will only benefit from trade and investment opportunities. It will also help Eastern Partnership countries to avoid painful choice either to access the EAEU or the EU and the risk of being left in the cold. After all, we share the same continent.




LATEST EVENTS

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



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