On May 29, 2020, within the framework of the “In Search of the New Architecture of Multipolarity: The Eurasian Economic Union’s International Cooperation” Round Table held at the NRU HSE Alexander Knobel, Head of the International Trade Department told about the main issues faced by the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the ways of solution thereof.
In Alexander Knobel’s opinion, “the Eurasian Economic Union should seek to become a member of the WTO as a single bloc of countries, such as the EU. It is important to form the mechanisms of development of the common stance in the WTO and set the task of entering the WTO as a bloc by 2030-2035. At present, the positions of the EEU’s member-states in the WTO are not harmonized as these countries have been granted different terms of membership in the WTO.”

Among the problems faced by the Eurasian Economic Union, the expert highlighted the lack of options and competences of the EEC.

“To promote further the integration, we should expand the competences of the EEC and delegate more authorities to this supranational level. At present, the Eurasian integration is sooner of a multinational nature, rather than a supranational one”, Alexander Knobel notes.

In Alexander Knobel’s view, another problem consists in the existence of internal barriers within the Eurasian Economic Union. It is noteworthy that Armenia, Belarus and Kirgizia are interested much more than Russia and Kazakhstan in the internal integration.  Apart from that, there is explicit asymmetry of the consequences of the integration of the EEU’s member-states with far-abroad states.

“If for Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus the internal integration in relative terms is more advantageous, Russia and Kazakhstan will benefit more in relative terms from the external contour of the integration”, Alexander Knobel believes.

Also, Alexander Knobel pointed to such a drawback as the de facto inconsistent foreign economic policy in respect of third countries.

According to Alexander Knobel, “to solve these issues, it is necessary to expand the authorities of the EEC, form the internal barrier-free environment, pursue a comprehensive unified foreign economic policy, as well as develop a common position in establishing the free trade zone with third countries.”