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Kazakh Minister Says Eurasian Economic Union Agreement To Be Signed In May

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) with his Kazakh counterpart Erlan Idrisov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) with his Kazakh counterpart Erlan Idrisov
Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov says that the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will sign an agreement on the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EES) next month.

Talking to journalists in Moscow before meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on April 3, Idrisov said that Vladimir Putin, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and Nursultan Nazarbaev will meet in Minsk this month before signing the agreement in Astana in May.

"The significant event of this year is the coordination and signing of the agreement about the Eurasian Economic Union," he said. "It is the largest event on our calendar and we are actively preparing for it. At the end of this month a [Belarus- Kazakhstan-Russia] summit is planned in Minsk. We expect this meeting to be an important one that will pave the path towards the key meeting in Astana at the end of May where the agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union will be formalized and signed."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was present at the briefing, stressed the importance of the EES for the citizens of member states.

"The formation of the Eurasian Economic Union presumes the establishment of the four freedoms -- freedom of capital flow, freedom of the movement of labor, services, and goods," he said. "Thus we believe that the migration regime [between member states] will be even more favorable and provide maximum convenience to our citizens."

Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan are founding members of the Customs Union, which is the basis for the upcoming EES.

Russian officials have been trying to attract other former Soviet republics into the union, saying that by 2015 it will be transformed into the EES modeled after the European Union.
With reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and Rossia 24

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