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Eurasian Economic Union open to other CIS countries — Putin

MOSOW, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. The Eurasian Economic Union is open to CIS countries that have not joined it yet, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

“We are open to other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian diplomats.

“The efforts to strengthen close and friendly ties and develop mutually advantageous cooperation with neighbors are a key and strategic area of Russia’s foreign policy for a long-term perspective,” the Russian president said.

The treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union signed by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on May 29 in Astana “symbolizes a qualitatively new stage of our interaction,” Putin said.

A powerful economic center attractive for business and investors is being created in the Eurasian space and a common market is emerging,” the Russian president said.

The new association “objectively evokes great interest from CIS partners,” Putin said.

In particular, Armenia will soon join the Eurasian Union and talks with Kyrgyzstan are also “at an advanced stage,” the Russian president said.

The Eurasian Economic Union, which envisages the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce and is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, will become operational from January 1, 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's address to ambassadors and permanent representatives. Full