Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia To Establish Customs Union

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (left) and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev will hold talks ahead of the summit.

MINSK -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev is in Minsk ahead of a Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec) summit where Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan are to form a customs union, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Nazarbaev will hold talks on cooperation before the Eurasec summit begins on November 28.

Kazakh Ambassador to Belarus Anatoly Smirnov told RFE/RL that Kazakh and Belarusian leaders will sign a number of "important documents, including ones regulating cooperation between the economic institutions of the two countries."

The document establishing the customs union is slated to be signed on November 28 and the union is due to begin on January 1.

By July 1, customs checkpoints along the Belarusian-Russian border are to be closed, as will checkpoints along the Kazakh-Russian border a year later.

Lukashenka told journalists in Minsk on November 24 that the customs union will provide "great support to Russia," adding that Kazakhstan and Belarus will not be the "backyards" of such a union.


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