Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan sign treaty on creation of Eurasian Economic Union

The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia was signed in Astana on 29 May. The document was signed by Presidents Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin.

The Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union will come into force on the Customs Union territory on January 1, 2015.The 700-page treaty deepens the economic ties forged when the three countries created the Customs Union in 2010. It provides for the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce within the bloc, and for coordinated policies in economic sectors.

The work on the project was not easy, Aliaksandr Lukashenka stressed. ‘How many opponents emerged both in the West and in the so-called ‘near abroad’? And not even overseas, but in our countries as well! And not only among the opposition (it is their job to criticize), but also among some government officials (especially liberals). We heard all kinds of complaints! They claimed that integration is about the revival of the Soviet empire and the loss of sovereignty. They compared integration to a ‘kettlebell tied to the legs of Russia’ (if they spoke about Belarus) or Kazakhstan,’ he said.

The Treaty is comprised of two parts. The first one outlines the principles of the Eurasian integration – mutually beneficial cooperation for further convergence of the troika’s economies, for their development and promotion of competitiveness. The second part regulates the mechanisms of economic cooperation and documents specific responsibilities.

‘The Eurasian Economic Union Treaty aims to improve the well-being and quality of life of the citizens of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus and provides for the free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, a coordinated economic policy. The effect of the integration in the form of the aggregate GDP growth by 2030 is estimated at about $900 billion,’ news agency BelTA says.

‘The troika states will pursue a well-orchestrated policy in such key economic industries as energy, production industries, agriculture and transport sector,’ Vladimir Putin noted.

The three states undertake to guarantee the free movement of goods, services, capital and work force and to implement a coordinated policy in such key branches of the economy as energy, industry, agriculture and transport, Russia’s president press service reports.

In the run-up of signing the treaty Aliaksandr Lukashenka revealed that Russia’s Vladimir Putin offered a project differing from the treaty that Belarus had counted on before.

‘We have never been cheapskates, we have never demanded more from our partners and neighbors than we contributed to the common cause. As a result, the treaty that we can sign is kind of a compromise. Unfortunately, it is not the treaty that Belarus counted on and not the treaty that our partners, primarily the Russian Federation, stated initially,’ he said.

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