Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus Launch Customs Union
On July 5, 2010, at their meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed a declaration launching the Customs Union among the three countries, which came into effect on July 6.
The Customs Union was supposed to come into effect on July 1, but Belarus refused to sign the statement, demanding that Russia abolish its export duty on oil and oil products for the union partners. Russia promised to abolish the oil duty in 2012, after the three countries establish the common economic space.
The Belarus president announced on July 3 that Belarus had ratified the Code of the Customs Union, signaling that the country was prepared to join the Union.
“We are on the threshold of achieving a very high level of integration. Today we have a Customs Union; next we will set up a common economic space; ultimately I think we will have a single-currency union,” Medvedev said at a joint press conference following the signing of the declaration.
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also announced that they were considering the possibility of joining the Customs Union.
For more information, please contact Aleksandra Noveska at our Macedonia office.
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