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Putin calls for stronger positions of Customs Union, CES in world

April 23, 2012, 21:57 UTC+3

The Common Economic Space became operational from January 1, 2012

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MOSCOW, April 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for strengthening the positions of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space (CES) in the world.

He also believes it is necessary to ensure broad international recognition of these organizations as equal dialogue partners.

According to Putin, all these steps should provide favourable conditions for creating the Eurasian Economic Union that is likely to become a strong pole in global development, attractive to Russia’s neighbours.

He recalled that the political decision to create the Customs Union and the CES required meticulous efforts to build the regulatory framework for cooperation that was created in a short period of time and helped launch integration projects ahead of schedule.

“While developing integration we should take into account the needs of economic players,” the prime minister said.

“Our task is to ensure that entrepreneurs and citizens of our countries can fully enjoy the benefits of the common space,” Putin said.

The Common Economic Space became operational from January 1, 2012.

On July 1, 2011, control over the movement of goods between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan ceased to exist and the three countries had formed a common customs system.

The economy responded to the creation of the Customs Union immediately and mutual trade among the three countries increased by a third after a year of its operation, reaching 108 billion U.S. dollars.

Combined trade turnover of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which form the Customs Union, will exceed 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.

The Customs Union had become fully functional on July 1 when internal borders were removed and shifted to the external ones.

Russia and Kazakhstan ratified agreements on the common economic space (CES) by July 1, 2011.

Belarus ratified all agreements on the common economic space in December 2010.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed documents providing a regulatory framework for the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space (CES) among the three states.

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