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Putin sees new phase of Eurasian integration by 2013

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(Interfax) – The Eurasian Economic Union – a new stage of integration of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – will be effective as early as 2013, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

“We are hoping to sign as early as next year a declaration about the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union, which can and must start operating as early as 2013,” Putin told journalists on the sidelines of the Customs Union Business Forum. The creation of more favorable economic conditions in Belarus and Kazakhstan could lead to Russian firms wanting to move their headquarters to these countries, Putin said.

“I do not rule out that we will face a real threat that some companies will be re-registered in Belarus or Kazakhstan. We are perfectly aware of that,” Putin said.

The Russian government will therefore try to create competitive conditions to attract business to Russia, he said. This will already be the fourth stage of integration of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the prime minister said.

“We have every reason to believe that the Eurasian Economic Union will start working in 2013,” he said.

The Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC or EurAsEC) originated from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on 29 March 1996. The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed on 10 October 2000, in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana by Presidents Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Emomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan. On 7 October 2005 it was decided between the member states that Uzbekistan would join. Freedom of movement is implemented among the members (no visa requirements). Common Economic Space was launched on 1 January 2010.

EAEC was established for effective promotion of the creation by the Customs Union member states of a Single Economic Space and for coordinating their approaches while integrating into the world economy and the international trade system. One of the Organization’s chief activity vectors is ensuring the dynamic evolution of the Community states through coordinating their economic and social reforms while effectively using their economic potentials to improve the living standards of their peoples. Among the principal tasks of the Community are:

  • completing the formalization of a free trade regime in all respects, creating a unified customs tariff and a unified system of nontariff regulation measures;
  • laying down the common rules for trade in goods and services and their access to internal markets;
  • introducing a unified procedure for foreign exchange controls;
  • creating a common unified system of customs regulation;
  • drawing up and implementing joint programs of economic and social development;
  • creating equal conditions for production and entrepreneurial activities;
  • forming a common market for transportation services and a unified transport system;
  • forming a common energy market;
  • creating equal conditions for access by foreign investment to the sides’ markets;
  • giving the citizens of the Community states equal rights in receiving education and medical assistance throughout its territory;
  • converging and harmonizing national legislation;
  • ensuring the coordination of the legal systems of the EAEC states with a view to creating a common legal space within the Community.

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