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Russia To Allocate $1.2 Billion To Help Kyrgyzstan Join Customs Union

Kyrgyzstan's economy minister says Russia will allocate $1.2 billion to help Bishkek join a Moscow-led customs union.

Temir Sariev told RFE/RL on May 30 that $1 billion would be given to Kyrgyzstan by Moscow as a long-term loan, while an additional $200 million will be classfied as a Russian grant to help implement a "road map" for Kyrgyzstan joining the customs union.

The road map was signed on May 29 in the Kazakh capital, Astana, by Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev and presidents of the union's member states -- Vladimir Putin of Russia, Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan, and Alyaksandr Lukashenka of Belarus.

On May 29, the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia signed a treaty to establish on January 1, 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union, of which the customs union is a precursor.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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