Russia tightens customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan

The customs union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia is supposed to adopt a new form of much closer cooperation between the three countries – informed radio “Moscow Echo” on Monday. According to the radio station, the union will be equipped with additional international prerogatives, just like the European Commission.

The recent session in Dushanbe of the Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS) proved that for Russia priorities have changed – while the CIS is becoming less significant, customs union has growing importance for Moscow, wrote a Russian newspaper “Kommiersant”.

Russian Minister of Industry, Viktor Kristienko is currently managing a working group drafting proposed changes to customs union treaties. The new international body – Customs Union Commission – will be formed by deputy prime ministers of the three countries. One of its new prerogatives will be to introduce sanctions against a country which violated Union rules. The changes should be adopted by October and implemented at the end of this year, during another session of Union’s prime ministers.

The attempted reform of the Customs Union is, according to Belarusian dissidents, another way of maintaining Russian domination in the post-soviet areas.

Michal Janczuk (Belsat TV)

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