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Kyrgyzstan's Ruling Party OKs Road Map For Joining Customs Union

Kyrgyzstan's ruling Social Democratic Party (SDP) has approved a road map for Kyrgyzstan to join a Russia-led Customs Union.

The leader of the SDP group in the parliament, Chynybai Tursunbekov, told RFE/RL on May 23 that the document now has to be discussed by other factions in the parliament and in parliamentary committees.

On May 20, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev told journalists in Shanghai that Kyrgyzstan's interests must be taken into account when defining such a road map.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Joomart Otorbaev said in Bishkek this week that Bishkek needs $400 million to implement the road map, 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.

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