Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan form organization to regulate economy, trade
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Friday signed a decree to set up a joint body to oversee and regulate the economy and trade in the three nations, paving the way for an economic union of the three former Soviet republics.
The Eurasian Economic Commission will be set up in January to regulate and to gradually take over functions in shaping and executing economic, trade and currency policies from Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh authorities in a way similar to the economic bodies of the European Union.
The commission would help to set up the Eurasian Economic Union of the three nations by 2015, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at a televised news conference.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev specified that the three nations would have to agree on inflation and debt levels in order to form the union.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have recently set up a common customs zone that allows a free movement of labor and goods between the countries.
Leaders of the three countries insisted that all the members will have an equal say in the commission’s policies. Nazarbayev brushed off criticism that the three nations might be creating a “reincarnation” of the Soviet Union, attributing it to “phantom fears of our opponents and enemies”.
When the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, all former Soviet republics except the three Baltic nations formed the Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS), an amorphous body that has hardly achieved any common goals.
Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan are still CIS members along with eight more ex-Soviet nations.
Medvedev on Friday invited other countries to join the three nations, which are the largest economies among CIS countries except for Ukraine.