Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan creating economic union

29 May 2014

MOSCOW, May 28 (Itar-Tass) — The presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will sign in Astana on May 29 the agreement on the establishment starting from January 1, 2015, of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) that will herald a new stage in the three countries’ integration on the post-Soviet space after the creation of the Customs Union (CU) and the Common Economic Space (CES).

The agreement combines the legal framework of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, as well as part of statutory instruments of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) that do not contradict the later agreements within the CU and CES. It will not be a replacement of the Customs Union or CES, but will continue integration in the post-Soviet space that had been launched in 1993 within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Under the agreement on the EEU, the regime of free movement of goods, capitals, workforce, services, as well as equal access to the transport and energy infrastructure and common customs-tariff regulation rules is established in the territories of the three countries. At later stages, it is planned to create the Commission on raw material resources, international Eurasian court of arbitration and investment bank. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan will join the EEU before the end of 2014.

The agreement declares the transition of the participating states to a co-ordinated macroeconomic policy with the approval of the general criteria of stability of the national economies — in terms of the state debt, budget deficit and inflation. It is planned to complete the integration of the financial markets in 2025 with determining the powers of the supranational body for the financial market regulation. The cross-country analogue of the Central Bank will be located in Astana.

In the energy sphere, it is planned to create the common market of energy resources, securing the uniform principles of access to the national gas transportation networks. The deadline for the formation of the common market is 2025, and for the conditions of non-discriminatory access to energy infrastructure — January 1, 2016. Thus, all oil in the EEU will become common, and issues related to the transfer of export duties to the budget will be regulated by bilateral agreements.

For the industry and agro-industrial complex the agreement provides for a transitional period of effect of anti-dumping and countervailing measures — they remain in force until the deadline expires. A year-long transitional period is set for trade preferences with third countries. The deadline for the co-ordination of the national industrial programmes is January 1, 2017.

Practically the entire legal framework of the EEU corresponds to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) norms.