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Import Fee Causes Backup At Kyrgyz-Kazakh Border

TALAS, Kyrgyzstan -- About 100 trucks transporting fruit and vegetables have been stuck at Kyrgyz-Kazakh border since February 20.

Officials at the Chon-Kapka checkpoint told RFE/RL at the scene on February 21 that the backup was caused by Kazakhstan's demand that truckers pay a fee of 15 tenges ($0.10) for every kilogram of fruit or vegetables imported to Kazakhstan.

The new fee was reportedly introduced by the customs union that Kazakhstan belongs to along with Russia and Belarus.

The CIS Customs Union was launched in 2011.

Russian officials say the eventual goal is to create what they describe as a Eurasian economic union by 2015 that is modeled after the European Union.

Kyrgyz Economy Minister Temir Sariev said in December that his country will join the customs union in 2014.