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Meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council

May 25, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow

The meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in an expanded format took place at the Grand Kremlin Palace.

The talks began with a restricted attendance meeting that included President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, and Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board Mikhail Myasnikovich.

The talks in the expanded format were joined, via videoconference, by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev as the head of an EAEU observer state. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon (via videoconference) were also invited to join the talks.

Also attending the meeting were Chairman of the Executive Committee, Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergei Lebedev, and SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming.

President of the Republic of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez sent a video address to the meeting participants.

A package of documents was signed following the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting. In particular, the parties signed the Protocol amending the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty of May 29, 2014 to include provisions on financial assistance to joint projects implemented by the EAEU member states in various industries. They signed several resolutions on amending previously adopted documents. The documents signed by the member states include directives concerning liberalisation plans for certain services segments within the EAEU; instructions based on monitoring the results of the EAEU member states’ abidance by the rules that regulate trade in services, establishment and operation in 2021–2022; and resolutions on the time and place of the next Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends and colleagues!

We are starting our expanded format meeting now, as agreed. With your permission, I would like to begin with my remarks and then give the floor to each of you. After that, we will sum up our discussion and move on to the documents.

We have just completed our restricted attendance meeting where we exchanged views on important aspects of our association’s activities and outlined strategic goals for deepening integration cooperation. And now, as I said, we will continue with the delegations joining us.

I am pleased to note that President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is attending today’s meeting as a guest for the first time. I would like to welcome him and the entire Azerbaijani delegation, as well as President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the head of an EAEU observer state, who is joining us online; Mr President, good afternoon; and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, Mr President, welcome, can you see and hear us? Thank you for being with us today. I would like to express my confidence that your countries will be expanding productive and multifaceted cooperation with the EAEU.

It is symbolic that our meeting is taking place shorty before Eurasian Economic Union Day on May 29, established by decision of the Supreme Council last year to mark the member states’ shared commitment to the further development of integration.

I note with satisfaction that cooperation continues to strengthen within the EAEU, which is consistently asserting itself as one of the independent and self-sufficient centres of the emerging multipolar world. The five member states invariably interact on the principles of mutual benefit and respect for each other’s interests, focusing on ensuring sustainable economic growth and improving the well-being of their citizens.

Russia’s chairmanship of the EAEU this year is aimed precisely at these key goals. At the same time, we will jointly strive to achieve an equally high level of development within our association.

Well, it would be difficult for us to catch up with Armenia. We have already said this today – their GDP has increased by more than 12 percent. This is a very high, serious figure.

We need to make sure that our people are comfortable, feel at home when they come to work, study or do business in one of the other EAEU member countries. We can achieve this by supporting real, 100 percent freedom of movement of goods, services, finances and human capital, and by ensuring the integration of the competitive advantages of our states. The new basic documents for the EAEU’s strategic planning are oriented towards this goal. They will set the main directions for joint actions in the mid- and long-term perspective up to 2030 and 2045. Work on these documents, that include a broad range of integration areas, is already underway, and we suggest stepping up the pace to achieve tangible results before the end of the year. I hope the related departments in our countries will act with this urgency.

As for specific tasks for further interaction within the EAEU, I would like to primarily note the need to develop industrial cooperation and increase the number of new joint production lines under the Made in the EAEU common trademark. It is important to make this brand recognizable as soon as possible and to win popularity among consumers in all our countries. The Eurasian mark of quality on the goods produced in the five member countries should mean that they were made to the highest standards.

Naturally, we must make a coordinated effort to strengthen technological sovereignty in backbone industries of the economy and achieve genuine technological self-sufficiency. In practical terms, I suggest coordinating and implementing uniform priorities for technological transformation and innovation cooperation. This should allow our countries to avoid depending on foreign technology and companies in critical industries, especially when we face certain trends linked with restrictions on cooperation imposed by other countries in these industries. At the same time, it is possible to think about establishing Eurasian technological alliances with interested partners from third countries. These alliances could establish new science-intensive high technology production lines in our states.

Digital sovereignty of the EAEU is also on the agenda. Let me remind you that Russia initiated the process of developing IT partnerships between the five member-countries in 2017. It is important for the states in our union to establish a uniform digital eco system, which implies the integration of national systems for online state services and electronic governments in each of the five member states. I can assure you that Russia has made tangible progress in this respect and has created a very strong foundation.

And of course, joint efforts should be directed at strengthening the financial sovereignty of the EAEU by ensuring a stable credit, banking and payment infrastructure, developing and harmonising the Eurasian financial market. This will create favourable conditions for capital to remain within EAEU borders and for it to be invested in further strengthening the five economies’ economies. To this end, it would be useful to establish a Eurasian rating agency that can provide balanced assessment tools to service the growing economic activity in Eurasia. This will certainly take a principled approach, precise criteria and strict abidance by these criteria – the agency must provide a fully objective assessment. This is the idea. If it doesn’t, it won’t make any sense.

I will also mention that this year, the Russian chairmanship is paying considerable attention to climate change issues. The EAEU Climate and Environment Club could take up the job of synchronising the member states’ approaches across a wide scope, including joint research and development projects, the introduction of green technologies, the achievement of international recognition of Eurasian climate initiatives, the improvement of the state of water ecosystems, the conservation of biological diversity, geological exploration and subsoil development, waste processing projects, and much more.

I would also like to outline a new and apparently promising area for cooperation. I propose introducing – in addition to the four fundamental freedoms of movement including goods, services, finance and human capital within the EAEU – a fifth freedom, which is the freedom of knowledge, based on the general principles and standards of education, healthcare and public administration. This should contribute to the formation of a common cultural space and, if you will, a common Eurasian ideology. We just discussed this in some detail before you joined us and agreed informally on how important this is for all of us. This is especially important for young people, for the younger generation.

At the same time, we should be more active in popularising our association, its achievements and opportunities for citizens of the member states, giving people wide access to reliable information about ongoing integration processes, as well as promoting tourism development within the Eurasian integration perimeter in every possible way, creating a network of new tourism routes.

Without a doubt, educating highly skilled personnel and creating new jobs in the most sought-after economic segments need our support. In this regard, we must strive to coordinate national education and scientific programmes, to harmonise requirements for professions, to develop common education and professional standards, to initiate joint education courses and common textbooks in technical and other disciplines. Inter-university cooperation, internships and academic exchange programmes should be expanded as well. Importantly, students from all EAEU countries should have access to information on these opportunities.

Notably, our continuing efforts to build integration dictate the need to strengthen, develop and modernise the supranational tools and institutions we have created, primarily the Economic Commission, which must be able to provide quick and proper responses to changes around the world and to make professional decisions aimed at protecting our common interests and promoting mutually beneficial integration.

We should think about expanding the commission’s authority, but make sure that the principle of consensus that underlies all key decisions within the EAEU remains the bedrock principle to ensure proper respect for the sovereignty of each of the member countries in the union and make it even more attractive to potential partners and participants.

Of course, the EAEU should expand relations with countries that are seeking equal and mutually beneficial partnership. I am talking about our partners in Asia, the Arab world, Africa, and Latin America. I mean cooperation with multilateral associations like the CIS, the SCO, BRICS and other associations.

It is important to continue to form free trade areas with interested countries and, among other things, to encourage them to jointly use the international transaction infrastructure available to the five member-countries in national currencies and the digital currencies of the central banks.

In closing, I would like to once again thank the leaders of the EAEU member countries for their close cooperation and mutual support when addressing the tasks facing the association. I would like to once again thank the non-members – so far – of our organisation for joining us in our work today. I am confident that by continuing to act as a team, we will certainly achieve new tangible results in promoting integration cooperation in the interests of our states and peoples.

Thank you. As is customary, in alphabetical order, I give the floor to Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan: Thank you, Mr President.

Heads of state, colleagues.

I am delighted to see you at the first meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council this year.

Let me thank the presiding side and President of Russia Vladimir Putin, personally, for the traditional hospitality and excellent organisation of the 30th anniversary meeting of the Supreme Council.


We had a thorough exchange of views on key issues on the agenda during our restricted attendance meeting. And I would like to briefly mention some of the issues that are relevant to the EAEU.

A wise approach to energy security should also strengthen the potential of national economies. As has been repeatedly noted, a common EAEU gas market coming on stream as planned will contribute to the favourable and mutually beneficial environment for trade in the long term, to ensuring energy security and keeping the member states competitive in the international market.

In this context, Armenia is ready for a constructive dialogue aimed at reaching a consensus on any outstanding issues as soon as possible.

Thanks to the extensive work done by the Commission and the authorised bodies in the member states, we have managed to make significant progress in the development of a regulatory framework for a new format of financing industrial cooperation projects.

The financial assistance for joint projects in various industries will provide us with the opportunity to stimulate specific sectors in our countries. At the same time, we consider it important to maintain balanced development across the economy in order to minimise the risks of stagnation or slowdown in other sectors.

Therefore, even as we select the projects to support, it is important to develop mechanisms that would reduce these risks while opening up long-term prospects for the selected projects.

I would like to note food security as one of the important aspects of cooperation between our countries – ensuring the availability and quality of food for the population, as well as protecting the market from low-quality and dangerous products.

Today, the need to put together a collective food security system has sharply increased. I think that the need to consolidate the efforts of the EAEU countries towards this goal is just as obvious.

I am happy that through various formats of interaction, in 2022 we went on with our planned work to develop mutually beneficial partnerships outside the union. This is borne out by the information presented in the reports on the main areas of EAEU international activity and on the approaches to the development of trade and economic cooperation with the union’s main partners in the mid-term perspective.

Considering the positive dynamics of our cooperation with Iran, the entry into force of a free trade agreement and its subsequent implementation are priority goals for us in the context of expanding trade cooperation with third countries.

Our continuing work on priority and promising negotiations with India and Egypt, as well as the development of a comprehensive dialogue on the economic agenda and the deepening of trade and economic cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia will give additional impetus to the union’s integration in the world economy.

Despite the achievements and proceeding from current realities, we must promptly establish effective mechanisms for cooperation with our partners from third countries, which will then create the conditions for the stable economic progress of our economies.


Obviously, the effective planning of steps to further develop our common economic space implies an open dialogue between entrepreneurs and business circle representatives.

In this context, I would like to make special mention of the Eurasian Economic Forum. Using this opportunity, I would like to thank Russia again for organising these major events and choosing items for discussion that embrace the broadest areas of EAEU interaction.

The forum attracts major political figures and leaders from business, cultural and other circles in our member countries. It has become a key venue for presenting promising ideas and projects and a platform for discussing current issues.

In conclusion, I would like to confirm again Armenia’s willingness to take part in the consistent implementation of joint projects aimed at reaching mutually acceptable solutions to important issues of the functioning of our integration association.

Thank you for your attention.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr Pashinyan.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, go ahead, please.

President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Colleagues!

I would like to join the previous speaker and thank the President of Russia and everyone in this meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and yesterday’s forum.

The modern world is undergoing global changes and entering an era of major transition and strategic development. There is increasing awareness of the need to replace the unipolar system of management with new decision-making centres that ensure the consideration of interests of all participants in international relations.

The attention riveted to the events taking place in Moscow today is comprehensive evidence of the fact that the Eurasian Economic Union should become one of these centres.

We have finally made progress in supporting industrial cooperation projects and have drafted a resolution to fund them from the EAEU budget. This is a landmark document and we hope for a good practical return on it.

At the same time, we are going uphill and very slowly on a number of major items on our respective domestic agenda for integration. I am primarily referring to the creation of common markets for gas, oil and oil products, the implementation of the digital agenda items and the liberalisation of the transport market. We spoke about this at length at our restricted-attendance meeting. Meanwhile these activities are fundamental to our economies, and they have become even more important against the backdrop of the sanctions.

The creation of a comprehensive economic union remains our priority. Everyone notes progress on this track, but I stick to my former position – there should be no barriers and no restrictions at all. This is a basic principle for building our union, and we must reach this target as soon as possible.

We have done much in creating a common market for state and municipal purchases. Our market for state purchases is not problem-free but functioning nonetheless.

However, to ensure its full-scale development, we must sign an agreement on mutual recognition of bank guarantees for state purchases and rules for the mutual recognition of e-digital signatures and ensure its entry into force as soon as possible.

Moreover, there is a reserve for expanding a relevant sector of economic relations. Apart from state purchases, we also have state corporations. I believe the union’s economy will gain from the lifting of restrictions on access to purchases by state corporations.

The improvement of transport infrastructure and development of effective logistics are also a priority for the union. At the restricted attendance meeting, the President of Kazakhstan raised this issue and cited examples showing how important it is for developing our union.

Considering the turn of our export flows to the southeast, it is very important to cut a corridor through to the countries of this region. This is a limitless market for our goods.

At the same time, we must provide equal access to the infrastructure that already exists or is in development, to prevent further unpleasant incidents similar to what happened with exports of timber and, as Kazakhstan claims, black coal, to third countries through the territories of the member states.

I believe it would be reasonable to resume the discussion of more relaxed rules for road freight shipments to third countries without special authorisations.

I also would like to cover a relatively new but rather topical aspect of our integration, or the Union’s climate agenda.

For several years now, we have been watching Europe actively prepare for trading in the current conditions. The mechanism of trans-border hydrocarbon regulation, currently in development in the EU, will become a serious instrument of impact on international trade. The European Union will get yet another opportunity for manoeuvring: commodities recognised as “clean” will be admitted to the market while unnecessary products will be simply blocked, which is something they know how to do. Therefore, it is important for the Union to consolidate efforts and develop our own approaches and measures in response to climate challenges. It is necessary to consistently move towards a structure of the economy with prevailing low-emission production and technology.

Our response to the sanctions pressure is intensifying cooperation within the SCO, BRICS and ASEAN, closing new trade agreements and constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation with everybody who is interested in being our friends and partners. Having said that, I want to note that as a result, we must ensure the balance of interests between all the parties involved. It is not an easy task but I am confident that the commission has the skills and competence required.

Finally, I want to note: Belarus supports the course initiated during Russia’s presidency for determining approaches to forming a new development strategy for the Eurasian integration until 2030 and perhaps until 2045.

On the same lines, I want to stress that, when developing topical strategy-related documents, the Union may be interested in the similar past experience of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. The President of Kazakhstan spoke about this experience at length at the forum yesterday.

That said, I would like to warn all of us against excessive strategic planning. It is easy and we know how to do it. This useful work should not prevent or substitute for the actual steps towards achieving the goals and objectives of the EAEU Treaty that the member states and the commission are already taking. There are a host of specific issues that need to be addressed and they lie on the surface.

Colleagues, I believe that, by taking joint efforts, we can fully realise the potential of this union internally and externally, thus creating one of the full-weight responsible centres of the new multipolar world.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, please.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev: Friends,

I would like to express my gratitude to President of Russia Vladimir Putin for organising this summit and of course, for the usual warm welcome. The reception was exceptionally warm this time.

Greetings and salutations to the leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union member states, the heads of observer states, as well as our friends and partners from the CIS and the SCO.


Geopolitical upheavals have had a significant impact on the economic situation around the world. This year, international financial institutions, on average, have almost halved their growth forecasts for the global economy. However, despite the pressure from external factors, our cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union shows positive dynamics. The participating countries maintain macroeconomic stability; they are accelerating economic growth and mutual trade.

For my part, I would like to note that over the years of the Eurasian Economic Union's activity, Kazakhstan's trade with other member states has grown by 74 percent, while exports have grown by 98 percent. We consider these to be good indicators. Major joint infrastructure projects are being implemented; industrial cooperation is on the rise; a common services market is being formed, and the share of national currencies in mutual payments is increasing. The Development Strategy until 2025 is being systematically implemented. All this demonstrates the high level and wide range of integration between the participating countries.

At the same time, in the current geo-economic conditions, a more effective tapping of the EAEU’s potential, the elimination of bottlenecks, if any, is our common priority.

We are going to fully implement all the plans we made at the outset. At the same time, despite the obvious achievements, it is imperative we do not become heady with success.

There is a lot of work ahead. First of all, we need to focus on achieving the first of the four freedoms – the free movement of goods. This includes creating a single and truly barrier-free market and ensuring the unhindered transit of goods to third countries. I believe that the full achievement of these goals should be a key area of work for governments and the Eurasian Economic Commission.

I am convinced that at this stage in the development of integration, we must move away from the tactics of piecemeal decisions, ad hoc arrangements and manual management. We need a full-fledged, systematically functioning internal market of the Union. Only then will national businesses and foreign partners fully believe in the Union’s potential.

Next. It is important to work together to expand markets for our exporters’ goods. One of the Union’s key objectives is to agree on the most favourable trade conditions with third countries on the basis of a strong coordinated joint position.

It is important to continue a systematic dialogue with integration associations and countries with which cooperation is of economic interest to us.

The Commission should promptly conclude a free trade area agreement with the United Arab Emirates, India, Egypt, Indonesia and Israel. We should substantially strengthen cooperation with the SCO, ASEAN, Mercosur and other international organisations. I think the interest in cooperation with these organisations is mutual.

Next. We consider it important to develop and formalise an observer institution at the Union. This institution should become a mechanism for effective and mutually beneficial cooperation. That is, interaction with relevant rights and obligations on market access, compliance with common rules, technical standards and other issues.

The Commission will consider the possibility for observer states to join individual treaties within the Union, as well as the opportunities for their participation in specific cooperation and infrastructure projects. I think our partners will be particularly interested in cooperation in the energy sector, agriculture, transport and logistics.

I believe that the Commission should update the relevant list of agreements and projects. It would be right to define the procedure for third countries' participation in certain projects of the Eurasian Economic Union. The implementation of such mechanisms will contribute to the development of our integration association as a pole of economic attraction throughout the Eurasian space.

The development of industry is the next issue.

In order to promote cooperation in this area, we have begun implementing an entire range of multilateral cooperation projects and intergovernmental programmes. Our successful cooperation with our Russian and Belarusian colleagues under the Earth remote sensing interstate programme is a good example.

There are other projects in the works, but the world and our competitors are not standing by idly, so we must join our efforts. In this context, we praise the decisions made today on the mechanisms of full financial assistance to joint projects, which is a practical step towards what we need.

In the current geopolitical situation, Kazakhstan, considering its location and capabilities, is ready to serve as a centre for the development of the Eurasian industrial cooperation and integration. This can include joint measures to produce e-cars, mainline locomotives, carriages, agricultural and passenger vehicles, building materials, and chemical products. Much of these products are already in practical development.

We are also ready to implement joint projects to develop deposits of ferrous and non-ferrous metals with further processing and production of finished products. Separately, I would like to note our successful cooperation with the Russian Federation in these areas. Over the last couple of years alone, major projects have been implemented to produce trucks, mainline diesel and electric locomotives, products for the railway industry, and tires. A number of large projects are on the way.

Another important area for further integration may be the creation of new international transport routes. I am confident that our economic union will ultimately become a link between Europe and Asia, the global South and North.

We welcome the intention of the Russian Federation to form corridors in the direction of China, India, Pakistan, Iran, countries of the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

I believe it is high time to develop the North – South transport corridor in conjunction with the trans-Caspian route. In this context, Kazakhstan will serve as a reliable logistics hub of the Eurasian Economic Union using all its capabilities and resources.

To be continued.

May 25, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow