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Kyrgyz Groups Protest Against Joining Customs Union

Some 100 activists representing several Kyrgyz nongovernmental organizations have held a protest against the country joining the Russia-led Customs Union.

Activists of the Kyrgyzstan Against Customs Union movement and the Reforma and Democratic Alliance parties gathered in central Bishkek on May 5 and declared that Kyrgyzstan's joining of the Customs Union would lead to the "limitation of its political and economic independence."

Meanwhile, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Joomart Otorbaev said last week that the road map for Kyrgyzstan joining the Customs Union has been "practically accomplished" and will be approved soon by the union's member states -- Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus -- and will be debated also by Kyrgyz lawmakers.

Moscow has pushed other former Soviet republics to join the union, saying that by 2015 it will be transformed into the Eurasian Economic Union and be modeled after the EU.

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