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Special Report

Putin Honors Nazarbaev For Eurasian-Integration Efforts

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev (left) walks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin (right) and Belarusian counterpart Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Astana in March.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev a state honor for his contribution "in bilateral efforts to advance Eurasian integration processes."

An order announcing the granting of the Order of Aleksandr Nevsky to Nazarbaev was posted on the Kremlin website on June 8.

Earlier, Putin bestowed the same honor on Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan were the founding members of the Eurasian Economic Union. Armenia joined in January, and Kyrgyzstan joined in May.

Nazarbaev first proposed the idea of a "Eurasian Union of States" during a speech in Moscow in March 1994.

The following year, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia signed a customs-union treaty that became the foundation of the Eurasian Economic Union.