Belarus to replace its representatives in Eurasian Economic Commission

The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) has approved Belarus’ decision to dismiss Syarhey Sidorski and Valery Karashkow from their positions as members of the EEC Board.

Syarhey Sidorski

Candidates for the positions are expected to be discussed soon at meetings of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

According to unofficial sources, Mr. Sidorski may be succeeded by Alyaksandr Subotsin, presidential aide for the Vitsyebsk region, and Mr. Karashkow may be succeeded by Viktar Nazaranka, head of Belarus’ State Standardization Committee.

Experts say that Minsk’s decision to replace its representatives in the EEC Board was most likely prompted by its dissatisfaction with integration processes.

In early March, Alyaksandr Lukashenka lamented trade restrictions within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in a thinly-veiled dig at Russia.

“This is already getting ridiculous,” he said, speaking at a meeting with top government officials in Minsk. “Our media have wondered caustically: what kind of a ‘taiga’ union do you have if there is a tougher attitude to fellow members than to other countries? I’m not speaking about milk, which has just recently been used as a political tool in a brazen manner. We cannot freely sell even our cement [within the EAEU].”

Mr. Lukashenka tore into Belarus’ representatives in the EEC Board for what he described as doing nothing to advance the country’s interests. “Why fake activity if only other countries’ issues are solved? None of our problems has been solved,” he said, directing that the officials “select one or two serious issues for 2018 and press them stubbornly until they are resolved.”

The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, a supranational body, consists of 10 members – two members (ministers) from each EAEU member state – one of whom is the chairperson of the Commission’s Board.

The chairperson of the Board and members of the Board are appointed for a four-year term by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the level of heads of state.