Updated at 11:09,11-12-2017

Eurasian Economic Unions common markets of oil, petroleum products and gas to be introduced in 2025

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The member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union will have common markets of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas no later than 2025, Viktor Khristenko, chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, told reporters in Minsk following a meeting of the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia and a session of the three countries Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

A common electricity market will be set up a little earlier because preparations for this have been under way for two years, Mr. Khristenko said.

According to him, the presidents are expected to approve concepts for common oil, petroleum product and gas markets in 2016. A program for the establishment of such markets is to be adopted in 2018.

As Mr. Khristenko said, in order to set up the single markets, the member countries will have to sign special interstate agreements specified in the draft Treaty on the Formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Issues concerning relations in the field of oil, petroleum products and gas will be settled by 2015 in accordance with existing agreements signed in 2010 and in accordance with additional bilateral agreements that will be signed to ensure a status of relations in these spheres that would satisfy all the parties for the entire period until the common markets are established, Mr. Khristenko said.

The agreements will be in force until new accords on the common markets of oil, petroleum products and natural gas take effect, he noted. If this happens before 2025, which is possible under the treaty, they will come into force earlier, he added.

The issue of export duty on petroleum products will, for the time being, continue to be settled on a bilateral basis, Mr. Khristenko said.

It is up to the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation to decide through bilateral negotiations as to whether to change the existing system of distribution of export duty revenues, he noted.

According to Mr. Khristenko, it was decided that the Eurasian Economic Commission should continue to have its seat in Moscow.

He also noted that the draft Treaty on the Formation of the Eurasian Economic Union provided that the Unions financial regulator should be established in 2025 and be located in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Mr. Khristenko said that the parties no longer had any major differences on the draft treaty, and that the presidents tasked the Eurasian Economic Commission and the governments of the three countries with finalizing the text of the treaty and submitting it to the presidents for signing at their meeting scheduled to take place in Astana on May 29.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on Tuesday that he was concerned about the idea of postponing the establishment of common oil, petroleum product and gas markets.

The integration of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia should not be turned into a process for the sake of the process, the Belarusian leader said.

What is proposed to us is to leave problems unsolved, although they should have been solved at the previous stage, he said.

The innovative proposal to implement our agreements 10 years from now, by 2025, sounds strange to say the least, Mr. Lukashenka noted.

There should be no duties and restrictions on the movement of goods within the union, he stressed.