Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan target single econ space

MOSCOW, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have agreed to form a single economic space by 2012, taking the next step towards closer ties, local news agencies reported on Saturday. The three countries are already set to form a customs union next year, creating common external tariffs and a single market for 165 million people [ID:nGEE5AQ1A8]. They have also pledged to coordinate World Trade Organisation accession talks. "We are dedicated to further deepening of integration processes in the Eurasian Economic Community space and as the next aim confirm our intention to form a single economic space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia by no later than Jan. 1, 2012," the leaders of the three countries were quoted as saying.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with Alexander Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan on Saturday.

"We confirm the desire of out three countries to the speediest entry into the World Trade Organisation," Interfax news agency quoted their joint statement as saying. (Writing by Toni Vorobyova, editing by Mike Peacock)


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