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Putin to discuss oil and gas market formation with EAEU leaders

May 31, 8:29 UTC+3
Putin is expected to voice his assessments of the union's work and give details of the Russian vision of how integration should develop in the future
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© EPA/MAXIM SHEMETOV / POOL

ASTANA, May 31. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin begins a working visit to Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Tuesday.

He will hold talks with President Nursultan Nazarbayev and will take part in a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the level of the heads of state.

The Kremlin press service said on Monday the heads of state of the EEU member-nations will look at the ways of deepening integration and the forming of common markets of natural gas, crude oil and oil products.

Also, they will exchange opinions on the expansion of trade between the EEU and countries outside it, as well as with regional integrational associations. Upon the end of negotiations, a range of documents on practical aspects of functioning of the EEU will be adopted.

Putin, who will take the floor at the session of the Eurasian Supreme Economic Council, will voice his assessments of the one-and-a-half years of work of the Union and will give details of the Russian vision of how integration should develop in the future, Putin’s aide Yuri Ushakov said.

Putin is going to tell the counterparts that the union has completed the phase of formation and has gotten new members. With more than 182 million customers, the EEU is one of the largest associations and it functions strictly on the grounds of the universal norms and principles of the World Trade Organization.

"And we’re ready to abide by these norms and principles in the future, too," Ushakov said.

The presidents of the EEU member-states will coordinate a concept for forming the common market of crude oil and natural gas by 2025. Preparations for the liberalization of the markets of electricity that is due to be launched in 2019.

In addition, a common financial market will begin to function in the EEU by 2025.

In the course of the Astana conference, the country leaders may take a decision on setting up a council of heads of governmental agencies in the field of sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the people. This structure will be called upon to ensure smoothly coordinated actions in the sphere.

It is expected that the presidents will coordinate the guidelines for the economic policy for 2016 and 2017. At present the member-states are preparing a package of fifty documents to be signed soon.

This package includes a new Customs Code of the EEU, Yuri Ushakov said.

The presidents plan to discuss the prospects for cooperation with other countries and integrative associations. In part, they will give the go-ahead to negotiations with Serbia.

Ushakov recalled that the EEU has already signed an agreement on a free trade zone with Vietnam. Now they are going to discuss the measures for an earliest possible launch of the zone.

Also, the participating leaders of the member-states may launch the process of negotiations on a trade treaty with China. According to Ushakov, they will give an instruction to the Eurasian Economic Commission to sign a joint statement with Beijing on the start of the talks on the treaty.

Relations with the EU will be one more issue for narrow-format discussions, Ushakov said. The EEU believes the European and Eurasian integrations can be mutually compatible in a most efficacious way.

Kazakhstan has put forward an initiative to hold an international conference on establishing cooperation between the EEU and the EU.

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