Astana, Kazakhstan, Feb.3
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
The idea of restoring customs posts between Kazakhstan and Russia is not unfounded, Kazakh political scientist, head of the Risk Assessment Group Dosym Satpayev said.
"Earlier, Belarus has created this precedent," Satpayev told Trend Feb.3. "But it was a reprisal for the actions by Russia, which, as the facts say, imposed restrictions on transit of Belarusian goods through its territory to Kazakhstan."
It was previously reported that last week the director of the Center for Macroeconomic Research Oljas Khudaibergenov urged the Kazakh authorities to restore the customs border with Russia. In his opinion, it is necessary to do this in order to support the Kazakh economy in the current difficult situation and protect markets from the influx of Russian products due to the rapid collapse of the Russian currency.
Khudaibergenov said Kazakhstan needs to return customs posts, which were abolished during the creation of the Customs Union, to the Russian-Kazakh border after the collapse of the Russian ruble.
"What was proposed by Olzhas Khudaibergenov had been voiced before him by the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. It is not only his stance," Satpayev said. "Today, a part of Kazakh business is seriously concerned that the situation in the Russian economy (devaluation of ruble) negatively affects the business in Kazakhstan."
However, in his opinion, in comparison it can be seen that Belarus and Kazakhstan had different motives for reinstating the customs stations.
"Belarus took such measures in response to the actions of Russia, while Kazakhstan - to support its own business. Yes, we have our own national interests, but this measure (the reinstatement of customs borders between Kazakhstan and Russia) is a timeserving measure. Even if the borders are restored for two years as a temporary measure, it is not a true thing that we will be able to improve the competitiveness of Kazakhstan's business," Satpayev said.
He noted increased competition in Kazakhstan's business depends not on whether there is a common border, but on the effective domestic policy of the government.
"One shouldn't forget that at the national level the participation in the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union is a rehearsal before Kazakhstan's joining the WTO," Satpayev said.
He also noted there is a need to increase the competitiveness of Kazakh business, as powerful transnational companies that are stronger than Russian and Belarusian ones, will come to Kazakhstan.
Earlier, the head of World of Eurasia Public Fund Eduard Poletayev said the idea of restoring customs posts between Kazakhstan and Russia is advantageous for its narrow circle of business that is not ready for competition.
"The principle of the emergence of customs posts doesn't completely coincide with the trend in post-Soviet countries," said Poletayev. "The proposal put forward by some experts to restore customs posts on the Kazakh-Russian border will protect the interests of a narrow circle of business which suffers from the competition with Russian goods."
The Treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union does allow Kazakhstan to set customs posts in several cases. Member states have the right to impose restrictions in the mutual trade in goods if such restrictions are necessary for protection of the human life and health, public morality, law and order, environment, animals and plants, cultural values, fulfillment of the international obligations and ensuring the country's defense and security of the member states. However, such restrictions are not the means of unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction of trade.
Edited by CN