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MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The head of Russia’s Security Council said on Wednesday that some countries, while seeing the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as a rival, were trying to disrupt the integration process between former Soviet republics.
Security Council secretary Nikolay Patrushev made the statement during a meeting in Astana with Kazakhstan's presidential adviser and Security Council secretary Nurlan Yermekbayev.
"In the modern changing world, some countries see the EEU as a potentially serious rival in the global economy and are conducting destructive activity to disrupt integration processes," the council’s press service quoted Patrushev as saying.
The new integration association — the EEU — started operating on January 1 this year, replacing the Eurasian Economic Community, which officially ceased to exist in October. The union includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia with Kyrgyzstan expected joining it in May. Membership is open to other states assessed as sharing the assembly's aims and principles, its founders say.
Patrushev said the main task of the EEU was to strengthen integration of its member states and remove barriers for free movement of goods, services, capital and labour.
During Patrushev’s visit to Kazakhstan, the experts of the two countries also held joint consultations on a wide range of issues, including developments in Afghanistan, where the terrorism threat level still remained high, and there were conditions for the spread of drugs in Central Asia.
The parties discussed the situation in the Ferghana valley, which is split between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and is one of Central Asia's most densely populated areas deemed high risk, the Russian council said.
"The experts noted that challenges of the region resulted in border incidents and armed conflicts," it said, adding that the parties "outlined ways to address existing problems to prevent provocations on the border and escalating ethnic tensions."