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6 Jun, 2019 09:16

Russia may soon become transit country for goods between Europe & Asia

Russia may soon become transit country for goods between Europe & Asia

The strengthening cooperation between the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) allows Russia to proceed with transit opportunities between Asia and Europe.

That’s according to the head of the Russian Federal Customs Service (FSC), Vladimir Bulavin, who was talking at a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2019) on Thursday.

“The level of development of bilateral and multilateral relationship suggests that in the near future there will definitely be a breakthrough which will allow the SCO countries to realize potential transit opportunities between Asia and Europe,” Bulavin said.

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He said that the FCS along with its Chinese colleagues had successfully held mutual recognition of the customs control system. 

In addition, the sides agreed on a system for managing risk and sharing information about goods and transportation which will pass state borders.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is widely regarded as the ‘alliance of the East’, is the world’s largest regional organization in terms of geographical coverage and population. It covers three-fifths of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the world population.

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The agreement establishing the SCO was inked in 2001 by six founding states – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In 2017, India and Pakistan became full-fledged members of the SCO. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia currently enjoy observer status, while Sri Lanka, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, and Nepal are dialogue partners.

Last year, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow backs switching to national currencies in settlements between the SCO member states which could open new prospects for the alliance.

The central banks of BRICS countries, as well as the SCO and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), are already working on developing a joint payment space.

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