Global trade restrictions imposed amid pandemic should be temporary, says Medvedev
Restrictive measures in global trade imposed amid the pandemic should be proportionate and temporary, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev wrote in his article published in the magazine ‘Russia in Global Affairs’ on Wednesday.
“The introduction of restrictive measures in trade in goods and services by a number of countries has undermined the international trading system and value chains. However, in accordance with the G20 and APEC agreements, the WTO and the WHO recommendations, the restrictive trade measures adopted in order to provide relief to the pandemic should be proportionate and temporary,” he said.
According to Medvedev, “competition does not eliminate the need for international economic cooperation, the importance of which is increasing significantly.” “Many countries are facing the problem of funding their social obligations and debt payments. The developed economies should be willing to provide support in order to ensure global social, financial and economic stability,” he noted. “The past months have shown that various countries and international organizations are ready to cooperate and interact as they confront challenges. International organizations have come up with significant financial commitments to combat the pandemic. Thus, for example, the G20 representatives promised to allocate a total of $5 trillion to support the member countries’ economies,” Medvedev said.
The pandemic impacted trade agreements as well, he said, adding that the implementation of the agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area has been postponed, and the negotiations on a free trade agreement between the EU and UK have been suspended. Moreover, the implementation of the first phase of a trade deal between the United States and China is in jeopardy.
“Given the circumstances, Russia should adhere to free trade principles while taking into account objective requirements for protecting life and health and ensuring our national interests. It should encourage digital commerce based on information security and protection of personal data,” Medvedev wrote.
In the EAEU, modern challenges will facilitate cooperation in healthcare and the development of a mechanism for a joint response to epidemiological challenges in a single mobile labor market, he said. “The time is right to promote distance interaction between medical institutions in Russia and its EAEU partners and to expand the presence of Russian education in the EAEU countries by way of connecting their universities to distance learning programs or individual events held by Russian universities,” Deputy Chairman of the Security Council added.