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EU To Probe Joint Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan Approach To WTO

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- The European Union's trade chief will analyze the impact of a new customs union between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan on Moscow's bid to join the World Trade Organization, her spokesman has said.

"The basic parameters of this customs union...this could create a new situation, which we would first need to carefully analyze to determine the potential impact on Russia's WTO negotiations," Lutz Guellner, spokesman for EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton, told Reuters.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier that Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan will stop separate negotiations to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and begin joint accession talks.