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MOSCOW, December 19, 21:25 /ITAR-TASS/. Work is underway to create the Eurasian Economic Union of former Soviet republics, and there is every reason to believe that the organisation will start working as of January 1, 2015, Valentina Matvienko, the speaker of Russian parliament's upper house said on Thursday.
Speaking at a board session of the Integration Club in the Russian Geographical Society, she said: “The creation of the Eurasian Economic Union is underway: Heads of state plan to complete drafting a framework agreement in the first half of 2014 and to perform all the government formalities after that.”
“There is no need to worry that the Eurasian Economic Union will not start working as of January 1, 2015,” she said.
Matvienko noted that some opponents often accuse Russia for no reason of “imperial ambitions” and attempts “to restore the Soviet Union”.
“There are no grounds for that, either rational or economic. No one wants to re-create anything,” she said, adding that it was impossible to deny the right to create an integration union to those countries which had lived together within a single state for many decades.
“There are attempts to prevent it, as we see on the part of our opponents, but this only reassures us that we are on the right track,” Matvienko stressed, noting that while establishing an integration union, member states “do not turn against somebody, but they act in their own interests”.
She added that some integration organisations already existing in the post-Soviet space, such as the Customs Union, are very popular.
“We can hope for expansion of integration organisations if they happen to be attractive in their conditions and useful for national economies,” she said. “The same Customs Union proved to be effective in the first year of its operation despite a number of problems.”
“The creation of such a union between the three states is already beneficial, that is why it has sparked the interest of both the CIS states (the Commonwealth of Independent States uniting former Soviet republics -- Itar-Tass) and several other countries,” Matvienko said.