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Putin, Lukashenko, Nazarbayev to sign Eurasian Economic Union treaty on May 29

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian and Kazakhstani counterparts, Alexander Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev, will sign the Eurasian Economic Union treaty in Astana on May 29, the Kremlin says.

The treaty will come into effect on January 1, 2015.

The presidents of three countries "are expected to discuss the functioning of the Customs Union and the common economic space," the Kremlin says.

"They will consider further expansion of the Eurasian Economic Union, including Armenia's accession, and preparations for the 'roadmap' to bring Kyrgyzstan's legislation in line with the Customs Union and the common economic space," it says.

"The creation of the Eurasian Economic Union will allow the countries to reach the higher level of integration," the Kremlin says.

"Three states assume obligations to guarantee free movement of goods, services, capitals and workforce and carry out a coordinated policy in such areas as energy, industry, agriculture and transport," it says.

"So, the largest common market will be formed on the CIS space. It will be a new powerful center for economic development," the Kremlin says.

Non-economic cooperation between member-states

A treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union does not contain any clauses regulating political, humanitarian or any other kind of cooperation between its member states, Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Samat Ordabayev told a news conference on Monday.

"Political and humanitarian cooperation with Eurasian Economic Union countries will continue," Ordabayev said. "But our relations in these fields will develop within other platforms - the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and the EurAsEC (Eurasian Economic Community) until it functions."

Ordabayev noted that the original draft treaty had not been confined to trade and economic cooperation. It also contained clauses concerning political cooperation, common citizenship, migration policy, joint protection of state borders and other spheres.

"There was an attempt to insert provisions in the treaty regulating all aspects of our states' lives," he said, adding that all issues of non-economic cooperation, not reflected in the Eurasian Economic Union treaty, had already been regulated in bilateral agreements.

"We have established a large-scale legal framework with Russia in various fields, including more than 500 agreements," Ordabayev said. "We should not fear there will be legal vacuum."

Customs services within the union

Customs services of the Customs Union countries will not be integrated in a supranational body in the upcoming Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Andrei Belyaninov, Head of the Russian Federal Customs Service, told journalists.

The services would remain under their resperctive governments' control, as each country had its own specific goals, he said.

Only methodology related functions will be transferred to the supranational level, said Belyaninov, adding that merging any state bodies under the EEU was not in question.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 26May14]

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