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Russian Duma Paves Way For Kyrgyzstan's 'Eurasian' Integration

Russia's lower parliament house on November 21 ratified an agreement governing economic cooperation with Kyrgyzstan as it integrates with "Eurasian" structures that President Vladimir Putin is using to tighten Moscow's ties with other former Soviet republics.

State-run Russian news agency TASS suggested Kyrgyzstan could receive $1 billion in cash and loans under the deal.

It said Russia guarantees that Kyrgyzstan will receive money for projects in agriculture, construction, mining, textiles, and other industries in the form of an estimated $500 million in capital and at least $500 million in loans.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has said Kyrgyzstan will join the Customs Union, which now comprises Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, by the end of the year.

The Customs Union is a precursor of the Eurasian Economic Union, which is scheduled to start functioning on January 1.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Joomart Otorbaev said on November 21 that his country's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union will be discussed on December 23.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax