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Plunging oil prices to boost Eurasian integration — Russian minister

November 13, 2014, 8:52 UTC+3 LONDON
The common market countries could compensate for a decline in currency receipts from oil exports through the development of mutual trade with the use of their own currencies, Tatiana Valovaya believes
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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

LONDON, November 13. /TASS/. The fall in oil prices should give a boost to economic integration of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus as well as other countries that may take part in this integration process, the Russian minister for integration and macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission said in London on Wednesday.

“Strange as it may seem, but I think the present political and economic situation will have a positive influence on the integration process,” Tatiana Valovaya said in comments on a TASS query about the influence of western sanctions against Russia and plunging oil prices on integration.

The minister spoke at the Russian Embassy in London, addressing business people, political analysts and journalists.

She told them about the process of Eurasian economic integration and the activity of the Eurasian Economic Commission, a regulatory agency of the Customs Union and Common Economic Space of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Valovaya said she believed the common market countries could compensate for a decline in currency receipts from oil exports through the development of mutual trade with the use of their own currencies, avoiding “an excessive use” of international currencies.

She said a bid to give up on dollars and euro in mutual trade was not planned as "counter-sanctions" against the West, but was caused by pragmatic considerations.

Although the past three years have not been successful for the global economy, Eurasian integration has been motivating economic growth for the Customs Union member countries, Valovaya said.

They have “practically doubled the amount of internal trade” over this time, reducing the share of mineral commodities in it. It has declined from 40% to 33% since 2010, the minister said.

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