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Eurasian Economic Union to be open for newcomers — deputy PM

May 23, 2014, 14:40 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

Common goals of the agreement are closer economic integration withing the Asia Pacific and strengthening ties with the EU

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Smyshlyaev

ST. PETERSBURG, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The future Eurasian Economic Union to be sealed on the paper in Astana on May 29 will be open for newcomers, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday.

The document was now being completed, he said. If the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan sign the agreement it will be ratified this year, “and the new integration stage will start on January 1, 2015”.

The integration was not a closed process but open for new members, said the deputy prime minister.

“Our chief goal is to build the Eurasian Economic Union not only with common economic space with the EU but also more closely entwined into the fabric of the Asia Pacific,” Shuvalov said. Only then the Russian economy would be strong, and its partners in the Customs Union (Belarus and Kazakhstan) would get what they deserve, he added.

The Western countries feared integration organizations in the post-Soviet area, one of them the US, though it is establishing free trade zones itself.

“The US believes it has certain strategic national goals, and everybody who opposes them is an enemy,” Shuvalov said. “But somehow, they see our true goal of post-Soviet integration, economic integration to make us economically stronger and richer as something alien for us, which they should fight. But it is our strategic aim," he added.

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