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Russian parliament ratifies agreement on Eurasian Economic Union

September 26, 2014, 12:01 UTC+3
The union plans free movement of goods, services, capital and labour as an extension of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan
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© ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

MOSCOW, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, on Friday ratified the agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union. Most deputies voted for the treaty.

The union plans free movement of goods, services, capital and labour as an extension of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

It is to come into effect on January 1 next year, assuming the treaty is approved by the parliaments of the other two founding nations. Membership is open to other states assessed as sharing the assembly's aims and principles, its founders say.

Leonid Slutsky, chairing the State Duma's committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, called ratification of the agreement an “event of historic importance.”

“It is a mighty project from the geopolitical point of view. Several countries of the FSU and other countries have announced their aspirations to join the Union,” the MP said. The Union will also become “a main obstacle on the road towards creating a unipolar world.”

Presidents of Russia, Kazakhastan and Belarus sign the treaty

Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed an agreement on organisation of the Union on May 29, 2014. The document regulates free movement of goods, services, capital and labour force, joint policies in sectors of the economy.

The agreement offers structure, authorities and work of the Union’s bodies - Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, which unites country leaders, the Eurasian Inter-Governmental Council of the countries’ prime ministers, the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union.

A separate chapter is devoted to the Union’s budget, which will be formed in Russian roubles. The Supreme Council will fix the rates payable by the member countries.

The agreement contains provisions on customs and technical regulations, foreign trade and measures for protecting the domestic market, as well as a provision for implementation of a single customs tariff.

Other chapters are devoted to implementation of macroeconomic, currency policies, regulations of financial markets, cooperation in the energy and transport, formation of common market of gas, oil and oil products, medicines and medical goods.

The agreement’s provisions regulate intellectual property and state purchases, the industries and agriculture, as well as labour migration and information services.

The working language is Russian. The Union's headquarters will be in Moscow, the Court - in Minsk (Belarus), and the financial regulator - in Almaty (Kazakhstan).

The Union is open for new members, if a country shares the Union's objectives and approaches.

Implementation of the agreement will require additional budget expenses, which will be included in the budgets for 2015, and in draft budgets for 2016 and 2017.

The member countries will use a ten-year period to harmonise national legislations.

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