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Eurasian Union is project open to other partners - Putin

October 04, 2011, 3:54 UTC+3

However, “we are not going to hurry or push anyone,” he said

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MOSCOW, October 4 (Itar-Tass) — The Eurasian Union “is an open project, and we welcome the accession of other partners, first of all countries of the Commonwealth (of Independent States),” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrote in an article that will be published in the Izvestia daily on Tuesday.

However, “we are not going to hurry or push anyone,” he said. “This must be a sovereign decision of the state, dictated by its own long-term national interests,” Putin stressed.

“Some of our neighbours explain their unwillingness to participate in integration processes in the post-Soviet space, saying that this is allegedly at variance with their European choice,” the prime minister said, adding that it is erroneous.

“We are not going to cut ourselves off from anyone or stand against anyone,” he stressed. According to Putin, “the Eurasian Union will be built on universal integration principles as an inalienable part of Greater Europe, united by common values of freedom, democracy and market laws”.

Putin reminded the readers that “back in 2003, Russia and the European Union agreed on the formation of a common economic space, coordination of rules of economic activity without setting up supra-national structures”.

In developing this idea, “we offered Europeans to think together about setting up a harmonious community of economies from Lisbon to Vladivostok, about a zone of free trade and even more advanced forms of integration, about the development of coordinated policy in the sphere of industry, technologies, power engineering, education and science, and finally about the removal of visa barriers,” the prime minister stressed.

“These offers did not hang in the air – they are discussed in detail by European colleagues,” he added. Now, “the Customs Union and in the future the Eurasian Union will become participants in a dialogue with the European Union,” he said.

“Thus, membership in the Eurasian Union, apart from direct economic benefits, will enable its members to integrate into Europe faster and from a much stronger position,” he emphasized.


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