Prime ministers of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia to meet in October to discuss unsettled Customs Union issues

The prime ministers of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia are expected to meet in October to discuss issues relating to the establishment of a common economic zone within the three countries’ Customs Union that remain unsettled, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters in Moscow following a meeting of the Commission of the Customs Union, BelaPAN reports.

The premiers’ meeting will hopefully lead to more draft agreements being sent for approval at the national level, Mr. Shuvalov said.

The most complicated group of draft agreements, that of energy agreements, is left to be agreed upon, he noted, adding that the sides would have to hold additional consultations on them in the next few days.

According to Mr. Shuvalov, the introduction of a common currency is not on the agenda. “We proceed from the assumption that the common economic zone should be established under the agreements that have been specified and all these agreements should be put into effect,” he said. “Deciding on whether or not to discuss the possibility of forming a currency union will be on the agenda in the future, after January 1, 2012.”

The three countries “have approached the most complicated stage in the establishment of the common economic zone,” said Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Kabyakow. “But the sides are set to look for compromises to ensure that there is a real common economic zone on the territory of our three states, and that goods, labor and capital freely move [within the zone] without discrimination and are in equal conditions.”

Mr. Kabyakow expressed hope that the prime ministers would manage to find solutions to the unsettled issues and it would be possible to sign the entire package of 20 agreements on the common economic zone before the end of 2010.