Russia is holding daily talks with Minsk on whether Belarus will participate in customs union, vice premier says

Russia is holding daily talks with Minsk on whether Belarus will participate in a customs union with Russia and Kazakhstan, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said at a government meeting on Thursday, according to RIA Novosti, BelaPAN reports.

A meeting of the Interstate Council of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc) will be held in Astana on July 5, during which the heads of state are to make a decision on the format of the customs union, Mr. Shuvalov said. “The customs zone of the customs union may be formed of the geographic territories of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan or a common customs territory may be formed by three states, including the Republic of Belarus,” he said. “We are in daily contact with our Belarusian colleagues. All necessary documents have been prepared for the Customs Code to be in effect in the common customs zone that includes the Republic of Belarus.”

The agreements that have not yet been ratified will be temporarily applied from the date of signing by the president to the ratification date, Mr. Shuvalov noted.