Informal summits of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU) and the collective security Treaty (CSTO) are traditionally held at the end of the year in Russia, usually in Moscow, but this time the venue chosen was the library. Boris Yeltsin in St. Petersburg. In EEU includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. In the CSTO in addition to the five included more of Tajikistan.
In previous years, participants reconvened as a rule, at full strength. However, this year the meeting has not arrived the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. Prior to that, he rarely missed an opportunity to meet colleagues, conceding just two summits (in 2009 and 2013).
The official explanation of the absence of the President from Minsk is not followed. The representative of the press service of the President of Belarus on the question of the correspondent on Monday did not answer. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov also did not give reasons, saying only that the Belarusian side informed the Russian. According to tradition, if the President cannot attend the summit, instead of him coming Prime Minister or other authorized person. However, this time the Belarusian side sent one.
As said the source familiar with the preparations of the summit, the reason for the absence Lukashenko is connected with the problems in bilateral relations with Russia.
Throughout the year Moscow and Minsk have failed to agree on the terms of Russian gas supplies to Belarus. Belarus, “Gazprom” (according to the newspaper “Kommersant”) approximately $425 million to the Belarusian side demands to reduce the price from $132 to $73 per 1 thousand cubic meters. m. the Question is not discussed again premiers of the two countries and presidents. The last time Putin and Lukashenko met in November in Moscow, however, to reach agreement, these meetings have not resulted.
By the end of the year intensified the debate on the supply of Belarus products to Russia, which Moscow attributed to sanctions. The head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert in an interview with the accused Belarus that actively uses the situation when the Russian market closed for deliveries from the EU, Ukraine, and behaves thus in bad faith. “We have, even if everything will be fine, such figures as Dankvert and other, spit upon, belie and obgadit, as it was recently,” he responded to the President Lukashenko.
Lukashenka’s absence is due to a lack of arguments for negotiations with Putin, suggests Andrei Suzdaltsev, Deputy Dean of world economy at HSE. Lukashenka used to think that without the Minsk Moscow will not do, it needs a foreign policy and military support in Moscow, however, do not think so, says Suzdaltsev
Without the code, and the General Secretary
In the absence of Lukashenko, the presidents of Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan signed a single Customs code of the EAEU. Judging by the broadcast from the courtroom, the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev at first refused to sign the code, as stated by the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian economic Collegium of the Prime Minister. However, after half an hour Sargsyan told journalists that the code was signed by all four presidents. They are also requested to submit the documents to the Belarusian side. Unsigned Lukashenko code cannot come into force.
At the CSTO summit, the presidents due to the lack of quorum (without Lukashenka) are unable to discuss the Secretary-General, said the Secretary General of the organization Nikolay Bordyuzha, who has held this post for 13 years. A year ago, the presidents agreed that the post for three years will be busy on the principle of rotation in alphabetical order, that is, it is the representative of Armenia. However, at the summit in October, the question on the candidacy has not been resolved, it was moved to the December meeting. Due to the lack of “delegations” attending the presidents decided to return to the issue of the Secretary General on the summit in April, said Bordyuzha.
The boycott of the summits is a way to put pressure on the Kremlin to make concessions in 2009, Lukashenka did not attend the CSTO summit due to the “milk war” (ban on the supply of dairy products to Russia), in 2014, he threatened not to sign the agreement on the Eurasian economic Union, while Russia has not made concessions for oil and gas duties, reminds the Belarusian political analyst Valery Karbalevich. He points out that on previous occasions, Lukashenka sought concessions from the Kremlin, but now the situation is different — he can not, as before, to appeal to Russian society, as the approval rating of Putin’s policies is extremely high, so it is difficult to predict, in France the Belarusian leader desired.
“Not without negatives”
The Eurasian economic Union marks two years, recalled at the summit Putin. The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev pointed out that unresolved issues remain, such as trade barriers, difficulties with the transit of goods. The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan pointed out that the potential of the Union is implemented not. He offered to organize at the checkpoint Upper Lars on the border of Russia and Georgia, through which are supplied to Armenia, to organize a separate passage for goods of member countries of the EAEU. President Atambayev, saying that States, “sometimes the negative prevails”, was not when journalists are to call claim. Previously, he complained of railway tariffs.
With the participation of Alena Mahakavi