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MOSCOW, September 25. /ITAR-TASS/. A treaty creating an initially three-member-state Eurasian Economic Union may be ratified by all countries by October 7, a senior deputy of the Russian lower house of parliament said on Thursday.
The union plans free movement of goods, services, capital and labor as an extension of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
It comes into effect on January 1 next year, assuming the treaty is approved by the parliaments of its three founding nations. Membership is open to other states assessed as sharing the assembly's aims and principles, its founders say.
“According to our information, ratification in Kazakhstan's lower house of parliament, the Majlis, was previously scheduled for October 1, and in Belarus’ House of Representatives of the National Assembly for October 7,” said Leonid Slutsky, Chairman the State Duma's Committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, which on Thursday recommended the nation’s lower house of parliament to ratify the treaty.
State Duma deputies will consider the document on Friday. After being ratified by the lower house, the treaty will be sent to the Federation Council approval next week.
Slutsky said that the three countries’ heads of state would meet in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on October 9. “These ratifications will be symbolically completed by the meeting in Minsk,” he said.
The treaty establishing the union was signed by presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Alexander Lukashenko in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in May.
Union institutions will build on those of the customs union and its common economic space. They include a Supreme Eurasian Economic Council comprising the three heads of state, and an Intergovernmental Council of heads of government.
Below these are the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union. The commission will be based in Moscow to serve as the union's economic center. The court will sit in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, serving to resolve legal aspects of the union’s work.
Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, will be the union's main financial center, hosting a supranational authority to regulate its financial markets.