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On The Future Prospects Of Linking The Silk Road Economic Belt And The Eurasian Economic Union Projects丝绸之路经济带与欧亚经济联盟项目对接的前景展望

By Guseletov B.P., Doctor of Political Sciences, Head of the Political Science Department of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
文|鲍·古谢列托夫(Guseletov B.P.)  俄罗斯科学院社会经济研究所政治学处负责人、经济学博士        翻译|胡昊

导读

加强与“一带一路”倡议的联系是欧亚经济联盟的唯一正确选择

 

 

In May 2020, the joint Russian-Chinese statement on cooperation on the integration of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) turned five years old, which determined the further direction of development of cooperation between China, Russia and the EAEU member states, both in bilateral and multilateral formats. To date, the largest economic integration projects in the Eurasian space are the EAEU and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (OPOP), or rather its land component, the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB).  Russia attaches great importance to the integration of the OPOP project with the further development of the Eurasian Economic Union, which will create a qualitatively new model of economic cooperation in this space. In October 2019, a phased agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and the People’s Republic of China came into force, on the basis of which the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), which is the executive body of the EAEU, in contact with the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation, began to form joint working bodies.

Having proposed the Belt and Road initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated the need to coordinate political efforts, develop infrastructure cooperation, organize free trade, strengthen commercial integration and strengthen people-to-people ties. More than a hundred countries have already joined this project.

Russia and its partners in the EAEU have chosen a slightly different way of participating in this project: through coupling, which consists in coordinating cooperation, developing joint effective and mutually beneficial cooperation mechanisms. The process of integration is impossible without detailed and timely strategic planning, which is reflected in the “Roadmap for the Integration of the Eurasian Economic Integration and the Belt and Road Initiative” prepared by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (KAON). According to experts from both countries who participated in the preparation of this map, the ultimate goal of pairing should be the creation of a free trade zone (FTA).

As part of the implementation of this goal, the EEC began active work with its partner in the PRC, which resulted in the signing of the multilateral “Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and the PRC” on May 17, 2018, which entered into force on October 25, 2019. In accordance with article 12.1 of this Agreement, a Joint Commission was established, which is the main dialogue mechanism and is responsible for considering any issues regulating the implementation of the Agreement by mutual agreement of the parties.

In December 2021, an online meeting of this Joint Commission was held, at which the progress of the preparation of the roadmap, the key section of which is the creation of digital transport corridors, was discussed. The discussion also continued on the application of trade protection measures, overcoming technical barriers to trade, expanding customs cooperation and simplifying procedures in mutual trade.

It should be noted that in 2021, trade between China and the EAEU countries, despite the coronavirus pandemic, continued to develop successfully. By the end of this year, China has become the main exporter for the EAEU member states (15.1%) and the main supplier of goods to the Union market (27.4%). In 2022, it is planned to create a data bank on current and prospective integration projects with the participation of two or more member States as part of the process of coupling with the SREB initiative.

According to the Joint Commission, infrastructure projects should become the main component of the interface process. At the moment, work is already underway to organize six specialized transport projects, which include the Russian-Chinese-Mongolian Economic Corridor, the New Eurasian Continental Bridge, the eastern, central and western sections of railway communication between China and Europe. More actively, work is underway to establish cooperation on the construction and development of the Ice Silk Road, within which it is planned to use the capabilities of the Northern Sea Route.

In October 2021, the EEC Board approved a List of Eurasian Transport Corridors and Routes, which should allow the EAEU member states to begin practical implementation of the Strategy for the Development of Eurasian Integration until 2025 in the part related to the development of transport corridors. Two single-modal and one multimodal railway routes were included in this list, which will allow connecting China, Russia and a number of other Eurasian countries. It is assumed that in 2022 A comprehensive plan for the development of Eurasian transport corridors will be prepared and approved.

In 2021, the volume of container traffic on the China–Europe– China route by the Joint Stock Company “United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Railway Alliance” reached 692.5 thousand TEU, which is 27% more than in 2020. Such a noticeable increase in traffic volumes required the development of a comprehensive program to reduce transportation, including simplification of customs procedures, improving the interaction of all participants in the transportation process and regulatory authorities using digital technologies.

In June 2021 Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, speaking at the second Eurasian Congress, stated the need to create a full-fledged “Eurasian transport framework”, which should be a unified network of aviation, road, railway, sea and river infrastructure of Eurasia. Part of this network are the international transport corridors “North — South” and “East — West”, which will increase the volume of cargo transportation, including transit communication with China. The creation of the Europe—Western China Corridor (EZK), which is the construction or modernization of highways, and also affects the logistics infrastructure of the EAEU member states, continued in 2021-2022. According to the draft, the main work on the completion of the Russian part of the EZK should be completed by 2024, but this process turned out to be associated with certain difficulties due to the fact that in 2021 the Accounts Chamber of Russia revealed that the quality of some sections of this highway did not meet the proper quality criteria.

In December 2021, the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) announced that it was ready to provide financing for the construction of the Meridian private highway from Russia to China, the length of the Russian section of which ranges from 1,300 to 2,020 km.

Another important element of the interface between the EAEU and the SREB is the Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 International Transport Corridors development project. The creation of additional customs infrastructure at the Border checkpoint within the framework of the Primorye-1 MTC should be implemented by the end of 2023, and by 2024 its capacity should increase from 100 to 750 cars per day.

It is important to note that the association of the EAEU with the Chinese initiative “One Belt, One Road” is of key importance for the implementation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership (BEP) project, which was initiated by Russia in 2016 and is positioned as a wide network of regional organizations and agreements, including free trade agreements, as well as large-scale infrastructure projects, international economic corridors, zones of advanced growth and development. China supported this initiative of forming BEP.

Within the framework of this project, Russia stands for expanding cooperation within the framework of the EAEU with other countries and regional international organizations. As a result, on September 17, 2021, memoranda of understanding were signed between the EEC and the SCO Secretariat, as well as the EEC and ASEAN, free trade zones with Singapore and Vietnam were established. It is planned that within the framework of the BEP, cooperation with the Expanded Tumangan Initiative (RTI) will continue to develop, which is a mechanism of intergovernmental cooperation between the Russian Federation, China, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea and has the full support of the UN Development Program and which will contribute to improving the competitiveness of the economies of its participants. The development of the EAEU dialogue with other international organizations, such as, for example, the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (CEP), has a serious prospect.

But the successful development of cooperation between China and the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union is of key importance for the successful integration of the EAEU and the OPOP. According to Chinese experts, the adoption of a large number of decisions and recommendations by the EEC in 2021 shows the willingness of the participating countries to cooperate and their common understanding of the further development of the EAEU, but there has not yet been a real breakthrough in expanding this cooperation in practice. The objective reason for this was undoubtedly the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, which required these countries to focus on restoring their economies in 2021.

Nevertheless, it was possible to achieve some success in the implementation of the EAEU plans for the implementation of internal reforms and further promotion of integration processes. Firstly, it was possible to eliminate a number of barriers that hindered integration: serious work was carried out to harmonize the legislation of the member states and develop the law of the EAEU in order to create a supranational legal system, as well as to improve judicial mechanisms to ensure law enforcement within the EAEU at both supranational and national levels. Secondly, the work on the development of transport and logistics infrastructure, including rail and road networks, as well as the creation of a unified logistics system was successfully carried out.

 


 



2022年5月,俄罗斯与中国《关于丝绸之路经济带建设和欧亚经济联盟建设对接合作的联合声明》发表已满7年,这个声明进一步明确了中国、俄罗斯和欧亚经济联盟成员国之间在双边和多边领域合作的方向。目前,在欧亚空间最大的经济一体化项目就是欧亚经济联盟与中国的“一带一路”倡议对接,确切地说,是与丝绸之路经济带陆路项目的对接。俄罗斯对中国的“”一带一路”倡议项目与欧亚经济联盟下一步发展的进行对接予以高度关注,这将在该空间创造出崭新的经济合作模式。2019年10月,欧亚经济联盟与中国商贸经济合作分阶段协定生效,以此为基础,作为欧亚经济联盟执行机构的欧亚经济委员会与中国国务院和俄罗斯政府进行接触,着手设立共同的工作机构。

中国国家主席习近平提出“一带一路”倡议后,宣布必须进行政策沟通、设施联通、贸易畅通、资金融通、民心相通。目前已经有一百多个国家加入了这个倡议。

俄罗斯及其欧亚经济联盟的伙伴选择了几种不同的路径加入该项目:对接的方式,这体现在协同合作,制定共同而有效和互利的合作机制。对接过程没有详细而及时的战略规划是不可能的,这体现在俄罗斯国际事务理事会与中国社会科学院起草的《欧亚经济一体化与“一带一路”倡议对接的路线图》中。根据参与制定这个路线图的两国专家的看法,对接的最终目标是建立自由贸易区。

在落实该目标的框架下,欧亚经济委员会与中国伙伴展开了积极的工作,其成果就是2018年5月17日签署的多边《中华人民共和国与欧亚经济联盟经贸合作协定》,它于2019年10月25日生效。根据该协定的第12条第一款规定,成立了联合委员会,这是主要的对话机制,负责审核解决各方相互协商执行协议过程中出现的任何问题。

2021年12月,这个联合委员会举行了线上会议,会上讨论了落实路线图的进度,其关键环节就是建设数字交通走廊,还继续讨论了贸易保障措施的运用、克服贸易中的技术障碍、拓展海关合作以及简化相互贸易的手续等问题。

应该指出,尽管受疫情影响,2021年中国与欧亚经济联盟成员国之间的贸易依然继续顺利发展。据统计,中国成了欧亚经济联盟成员国的主要出口对象(占比为15.1%)和联盟市场商品的主要供应者(占比为27.4%)。2022年,在“一带一路”倡议对接框架下,计划建立有两个或更多成员国参与的已开始建设和拟议建设项目的资料库。

在联合委员会看来,基础设施项目应该成为对接进程的主要组成部分。目前,正在就组建六个专门的交通项目进行工作,其中包括中俄蒙经济走廊、新欧亚大陆桥、中国与欧洲铁路的东段、中段和西段。正在就理顺冰上丝绸之路的协作进行积极工作,在此框架下,打算利用北方海路的可能性。

2021年10月,在欧亚经济委员会的负责人会议上,批准了欧亚交通走廊和线路清单,它将使欧亚经济联盟成员国着手实施到2025年的欧亚一体化发展战略,这部分与交通走廊的发展有关。这个清单中列入了两个单线和一个多线的铁路线路,这将把中国、俄罗斯和一些其他欧亚国家联结起来。据悉,2022年将筹备和批准欧亚交通走廊开发综合计划。

根据“欧亚铁路联盟联合交通物流公司”的数据,2021年,中国—欧洲—中国线路的集装箱运输量达到69.25万标箱,比2020年多27%。运量的显著增长要求制定缩短运输时间的综合纲要,包括简化海关手续、改善所有国家在运输过程中的协作、运用数字技术进行监管。

2021年6月,俄罗斯总理米·米舒什金在第二次欧亚大会上发言时表示,必须建设完全合乎条件的“欧亚交通骨干”,它应该是欧亚统一的航空、公路、铁路、海运和河运基础设施。其中一部分就是“南北”和“东西”国际交通走廊,这将会扩大货物的运输量,包括与中国的过境联通。建立“欧洲—中国西部”走廊乃是建设或对公路的现代化改造,也将涉及欧亚经济联盟成员国的物流基础设施,这项工作在2021-2022年依然在延续。根据方案,完善“欧洲—中国西部”俄罗斯部分的主要工作应该在2024年前完成,但是,期间遇到某些困难,因为俄罗斯审计署发现,这部分某些区段的质量不符合相应的质量指标。2021年12月,欧亚开发银行表示,它准备为从俄罗斯到中国的“子午线”私人公路建设提供融资,其中俄罗斯段的长度为1300到2020公里。

欧亚经济联盟与丝绸之路经济带对接的另一个重要因素是发展“滨海1号”和“滨海2号”国际交通走廊项目。在“滨海1号”国际交通走廊框架内的波格拉尼奇内过境点建设另外的海关基础设施,这应该在2023年底落实,而到2024年,其过境能力应该从每昼夜100辆车增加到750辆。

欧亚经济联盟与中国的“一带一路”倡议的对接,对于实施大欧亚伙伴关系计划具有关键性意义,该计划于2016年由俄罗斯倡议,并被定位为广泛的区域组织和协定网络,包括自由贸易协定以及规模巨大的基础设施项目,国际经济走廊、超前发展与开发区。中国对形成大欧亚伙伴关系的这个倡议给予了支持。

在这个项目框架下,俄罗斯主张在欧亚经济联盟内扩大与其他国家以及区域国际组织的关系。因此,2021年9月17日,欧亚经济委员会与上海合作组织秘书处、以及欧亚经济委员会与东盟之间签署了谅解备忘录,与新加坡和越南建立了自由贸易区。计划在大欧亚伙伴关系框架内继续发展与得到扩展的人文倡议开展合作,这个倡议是俄罗斯、中国、蒙古国和韩国政府间合作的机制,得到联合国开发计划的充分支持,有助于提高其成员国的经济竞争力。欧亚经济联盟与其他国际组织,诸如区域全面经济伙伴关系开展合作具有非常好的前景。

但是,对保证欧亚经济联盟与“一带一路”倡议顺利对接的关键意义是,中国与欧亚经济联盟成员国合作的顺利发展。根据中国专家的看法,2021年欧亚经济委员会通过的大量决议和推荐项目展现了成员国准备合作的愿望,他们具有进一步发展欧亚经济联盟的共同理解。然而,实际上,拓展这些合作没有取得现实突破。毫无疑问,新冠肺炎疫情的蔓延是客观原因,因为这要求这些国家2021年把资源集中到经济恢复上。

然而,欧亚经济联盟在实施内部改革和进一步推进一体化进程方面取得了某些成就。 第一,消除了阻碍一体化的一系列障碍:就成员国立法的相互协调、意在建立超国家的法律体系来发展欧亚经济联盟的法律,以及在欧亚经济联盟框架内,无论在超国家还是国家层面法律运用的司法机制完善方面,都做了大量工作。第二,发展交通和物流基础设施的工作顺利进行,包括铁路和公路网以及建设统一的物流体系等。

此外,2021年,在欧亚经济联盟框架内,保证了成员国工业化进程的加快,以符合业已批准的工业化路线图,还试图促进航空领域的组织、基础设施和生产的一体化,以保证在2025年前根本性地提高欧亚经济联盟在世界市场上航空服务的竞争力。

2021年10月14日,欧亚经济联盟通过了联盟成员国在气候变化日程中进行经济合作的声明,这应该有助于其成员国在“绿色”经济领域和实现巴黎协定的目标方面的相互协作得到进一步发展。2021年7月,在哈萨克斯坦首都努尔苏丹市组建了欧亚珠宝出口会,其任务是欧亚经济联盟加深该领域与世界市场的接轨,在联盟国家内扩大珠宝生产并提高其出口份额。2021年8月,欧亚经济委员会的理事会通过决议,决定建立欧亚再保险公司,以进一步吸引外国投资。

为了真正落实到2025年前欧亚经济联盟经济一体化发展的战略,采取了一系列措施,促进欧亚经济联盟成员国经济的数字转型,这些措施继续执行商品流动统一监管机制,在电子贸易领域建立统一的征税体制,就出现危险品形成统一的信息体系。

然而,在中国专家看来,并不是欧亚经济联盟框架内2025年前一体化进程的所有“短板”都得以消除。这与一系列原因有关:第一,由于经济发展速度下降,俄罗斯对联盟其他成员国给予经济支持的能力减弱;第二,欧亚经济联盟成员国把该机构的管理体系视为与俄罗斯的过度一体化,这会引起他们对部分失去主权的担忧;第三,欧亚经济联盟成员国经济结构和出口模式的相似性,孕育着他们之间在外部市场上竞争的加剧。第四,美国和西方对俄罗斯实行的制裁,特别是在2022年2月对乌克兰开始的特别军事行动之后,进一步限制了欧亚经济联盟框架内开展经济合作的可能性。

乌克兰危机显著地挑动了国际劳务市场的摇摆不定,这导致欧亚经济联盟成员国通货膨胀压力的增强,使一些国家的社会经济和政治局势变得更加复杂。所以,长期来看,加强与“一带一路”倡议的联系恰恰是欧亚经济联盟的唯一正确选择。