Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan approve all customs union documents

MINSK, November 27 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have approved all customs union documents, President Dmitry Medvedev said after the Minsk summit of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) on Friday.

These include the customs code, the agreement founding a common insurance market, and the agreement on fundamentals and forms of border cooperation.

"The EurAsEC is the only post-Soviet organization, which rapidly develops integration," Medvedev said. "The organization will mark its tenth anniversary in 2010, and the creation of the customs union will be the best way to celebrate," he said.

The EurAsEC formed in 2000 is an international economic organization targeted for a common customs perimeter, a united foreign economic policy, tariffs, prices and other elements of a common market.

The presidents of five member countries signed the treaty establishing the EurAsEC in Astana on October 10, 2000. Uzbekistan joined the organization on January 25, 2006, but suspended its membership in late 2008. Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia and the Eurasian Development Bank have the observer status at the organization.

Moscow is interested in the soonest formation of a common economic space with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Medvedev said.

"An action plan of the formalization of the common economic space will be ready in a month. We want to do this work as quickly as possible," he said.

Presidents of Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) member countries - Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - will meet in Almaty on December 18 to discuss the formation of a common economic space, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at the EurAsEC Minsk summit earlier in the day.

"We will gather together in Almaty on December 18 and decide when the common economic space would be formed," he said.

Russia will transfer $750 million to the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) Anti-Crisis Fund by the end of this year, Russian Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said.

The founding countries will complete the ratification process in the near future, and every one of them will transfer 10% of the fee, Kudrin said.

The Eurasian Bank for Reconstruction and Development will manage the money, he noted.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have officially confirmed their intention to use the Anti- Crisis Fund, Kudrin said.

"We know that the majority of member countries will use this fund. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have confirmed their intentions," he said. "Belarus has said nothing, but the fund is available to everyone."

"A mechanism for considering the applications has not been developed, but it will correspond to terms offered by similar development funds," Kudrin said.


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