Discussions on Uzbekistan’s entry to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC) are becoming substantial.  Not only experts but also diplomats are participating in these discussions.  Tashkent raises the issue of guarantees for its industry and other sectors of its economy.  Moscow, however, hopes that the Uzbek side will not hold back on submitting application for membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, Kommersant says.  

The issue of integration of Uzbekistan into the Eurasian Economic Union was discussed at the 10th Asian Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club that took place in the Uzbek city of Samarqand on November 10-11. 

The event was reportedly attended by more than 80 authoritative experts from 11 countries, including Uzbekistan, Russia, China, Germany, Japan, Sweden, India, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

On the first day of the conference, a meeting of experts took place as part of the special session “Uzbekistan – Russia”, devoted to considering the prospects for development of long-term relations between the two countries.

An official with the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Sternik, Russia’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan Vladimir Tyurdenev, Uzbek Security Council Secretary Victor Mahmoudov, Uzbek MP Alisher Kurmanov and a number of senior representatives of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry also attended the conference.  

The issue of Uzbekistan’s admission to the Eurasian Economic Union was one of the main subjects of the “Uzbekistan-Russia” session that was held behind closed doors.  

The issue of the possibility of Uzbekistan’s admission to the EAEC has been discussed since early October. 

On October 2, following her meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Russian Parliament’s Federation Council, announced that Uzbekistan was working on the issue of joining the EAEU at Mirziyoyev’s instruction.  Meanwhile, it was clarified later that Uzbekistan is merely exploring the option of joining the EAEU.  

Earlier this year Mirziyoyev spoke about considering the possible benefits and losses from EAEU membership.  

Some experts consider that Uzbek membership in the EAEU will likely feed a split among the country’s politicians and elites. 

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an economic union of states located primarily in northern Eurasia.  A treaty aiming for the establishment of the EAEU was signed on May 29, 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and came into force on January 1, 2015.  Treaties aiming for Armenia's and Kyrgyzstan's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union were signed on October 9 and December 23, 2014, respectively.  Armenia's accession treaty came into force on January 2, 2015.  Kyrgyzstan's accession treaty came into effect on August 6, 2015.

The Eurasian Economic Union has an integrated single market of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of over 4 trillion U.S. dollars (PPP).  The EEU introduces the free movement of goods, capital, services and people and provides for common transport, agriculture and energy policies, with provisions for a single currency and greater integration in the future.  The union operates through supranational and intergovernmental institutions.  The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is the “Supreme Body” of the Union, consisting of the Heads of the Member States.  The other supranational institutions are the Eurasian Commission (the executive body), the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council (consisting of the Prime Ministers of member states) and the Court of the EEU (the judicial body).