In view of considerable changes in trade rules between Ukraine, the EU and Russia, Belarus has once again found itself stuck between the hammer and the anvil, between two major economic players, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka told on Friday.
“No doubt it will affect our foreign economic activities. We need to keep a watchful eye on all the developments. We must fulfill our obligations before the Russian Federation within the Eurasian Economic Union,” said the President.
It is to be recalled that in June, 2014 the EU and Ukraine signed the economic part of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement. As of January 2016 the Agreement has been applied provisionally. The parties are to establish a free trade area over a transitional period of a maximum of 10 years starting from the entry into force of the agreement.
In their turn, Belarus and Russia are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The EEU introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common transport, agriculture and energy policies.
As cutting off ties with Ukraine can result in a loss of a $5-6 billion trade, Belarus is not going to do so, Alyaksandr Lukashenka stressed. “The Russian side never asked for this,” he added.
According to Lukashenka, Belarus can process Ukrainian products and then deliver them to Russia.
“It is not forbidden. This is what we and Russia agreed to. If a product is made in Belarus, we can supply it to Russia,” the Belarusian leader noted.
On Thursday the Belarusian Foreign Ministry welcomed Ukraine’s decision to suspend the introduction of a special import duty on a number of Belarusian goods.
Belsat.eu, via BelTA