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Kyrgyzstan Announces Desire To Join Russia-Led Customs Union

A trader outside a mosque in Bishkek
A trader outside a mosque in Bishkek
Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev says his country has decided to join the Customs Union that currently includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

Abdyldaev made the statement after his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on October 8.

According to Abdyldaev, Kyrgyzstan has set up working groups that are developing "common approaches" to the process of Kyrgyzstan’s joining the Customs Union.

Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia launched the Customs Union in July last year and formally launched the so-called Common Economic Space in January 2012 to allow the free movement of services, capital, workers, and goods.

Russian officials say the goal of the initiative is to set up by 2015 what they describe as a Eurasian economic union, modeled after the European Union.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Reuters