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Kyrgyz President Says His Country Will Join Customs Union

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has said his country will join the Russia-led Customs Union.

Talking to reporters in Shanghai, China, on May 20, Atambaev said Kyrgyzstan's joining the bloc is "our purely economic decision," adding that Kyrgyzstan's interests have to be taken into account when defining a road map for Kyrgyzstan's joining the bloc.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Joomart Otorbaev said in Bishkek on May 20 that to implement the road map, Bishkek needs $400 million, money which he said the state treasury does not have.

Final discussions on the road map between Kyrgyzstan and the Customs Union's member states -- Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan -- are scheduled for May 29 in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

On May 20, police in Bishkek detained at least seven activists protesting the country's plans to join the Customs Union.

With reporting by Interfax