Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia sign economic integration declaration

The Eurasian Economic Integration Declaration marks the beginning of the next stage in integration between the three members of the Customs Unions...

 

The leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia met in Moscow on Friday to sign a declaration of intent to deepen economic integration between the three states.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Dmitry Medvedev, Nursultan Nazarbayev

The Eurasian Economic Integration Declaration marks the beginning of the next stage in integration between the three members of the Customs Unions, which are preparing to launch the Common Economic Zone in 2012.

It says that the further integration meets the national interests of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia and will contribute to efforts by the states to improve the living standards of the peoples, ensure sustainable social and economic development and all-round modernization, as well as make the national economies more competitive in the world.

In the paper, the three countries also announce their intention to codify treaties constituting the legal framework for the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone by January 1, 2015 to provide the basis for the formation of a Eurasian Economic Union, membership in which would be open to other states.

At the meeting, the three heads of state also inked an agreement providing for the establishment of a Eurasian Economic Commission to replace the Customs Commission, the supranational governing body within the Customs Union, according to Russia`s news agency RIA Novosti.

While talking to reporters after the meeting, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that the Union could be established earlier, if everything went well.

He said that all the three states would be equal in the Common Economic Zone. The Eurasian Economic Commission will operate on market principles and in accordance with democratic standards, he said. “It will be taking into account the world’s best integration practices,” he noted.

The Russian president expressed satisfaction with the Friday meeting with his counterparts. “We can reach agreement, we can hear each other, we can find compromises and we are really cheerful today,” he said.

He said that a number of neighboring countries had displayed an interest in the project to create the Eurasian Economic Union. “We are happy about this,” he said. “This shows that a trend toward broader multilateral and mutually beneficial cooperation on the basis of equality picks up steam. Of course, we are open to everybody who realizes the benefits of the combination of our potentials. We will work in this direction as well, but certainly with regard to internal rules that we have just approved.”

Alyaksandr Lukashenka added that a roadmap would be developed for candidates for admission to the Eurasian Economic Union.

At the news conference, Mr. Medvedev signed a document formally requesting the State Duma (the country’s lower parliamentary house) to debate the ratification bill for the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian agreement on the formation of the Eurasian Economic Commission. //BelaPAN