You only have to look at the figures to see that the EU is ahead of Russia and its EAEU group. In 2018, Serbia`s trade with Russia and EAEU countries was valued at $3.4 billion. Among EAEU members, Russia is Serbia`s only major trading partner. Even then, trade with Russia accounts for less than 10% of Serbia`s total trade, compared with 63% with the EU, while EU investment is more than 10 times higher than Russian investment. Serbian companies can export to Turkey without paying customs duties. Imports of industrial products from Turkey are generally exempt from tariffs, but for many products, tariffs will be phased out over a six-year period, i.e. until 2015. For agricultural products, tariffs remain in effect. Imports from the EU are duty-free for most products. Some export restrictions apply only to exports of baby beef, sugar and wine in the form of annual export quotas. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic signed a free trade agreement with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in Moscow on Friday after the EU warned it would closely monitor relations, with Serbia a candidate for EU membership.
BELGRADE, Serbia, November 4 (SeeNews) – The Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament, has said it has ratified Serbia`s free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Serbia recently signed a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Vuksanovic writes that while the agreement has been welcomed by some politicians to offer new economic opportunities, the economic impact should be minimal for both Serbia and EAEU. He argues that, from the Serbian point of view, the real objective of the agreement was to use the spectre of a closer relationship with Russia as leverage against the West. First, those affected are opening up a radically new market for goods from Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – with immediate duty-free access to huge volumes of export products and, secondly, creating new export opportunities for producers in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia,” added Veronika Nikishina, EEC Minister of Trade. In addition to customs obligations, the agreement brings a number of legal innovations aimed at ensuring the stability, predictability and transparency of trade transactions. Today, Serbia is not a member of the WTO and, therefore, such provisions, as well as the modern institution for the settlement of disputes and trade interests, are entirely relevant to all EU Member States. The upper house of the Russian Parliament on Tuesday ratified a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Serbia. This raises the question of whether the agreement really concerns the markets or something else. Serbian political scientist Stefan Vladisavljev said: “What is an essential part of signing the agreement is the intensification of relations with the Eastern partners and the tendency to find an alternative to the EU accession process.” Since 2008, the Balkans have been plunged into a strategic vacuum due to the EU`s inability to integrate the region and the fact that the United States has been invested in other parts of the world.
In this vacuum, Belgrade was particularly motivated to pursue a policy of alternative partnerships, of which Russia was a part. Not only does this new trade agreement completely harmonize the trade conditions of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia with Serbia, but they have already concluded bilateral free trade agreements with Serbia, but it also creates a similar regime for Armenian and Kyrgyz products that had no preference for access to the Serbian market.