Russian State Duma ratifies agreement on Eurasian Economic Union

The lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, on Friday ratified the agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union. Most deputies voted for the treaty.

The union plans free movement of goods, services, capital and labour as an extension of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

It is to come into effect on January 1 next year, assuming the treaty is approved by the parliaments of the other two founding nations. Membership is open to other states assessed as sharing the assembly’s aims and principles, its founders say.

Leonid Slutsky, chairing the State Duma’s committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, called ratification of the agreement an “event of historic importance.”

“It is a mighty project from the geopolitical point of view. Several countries of the FSU and other countries have announced their aspirations to join the Union,” the MP said. The Union will also become “a main obstacle on the road towards creating a unipolar world.”

Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus signed an agreement on creation of the Union on May 29, 2014. Armenia has announced plans to join teh Union. The issue of its accession could be discussed at a meeting on October 10.

The agreement contains provisions on customs and technical regulations, foreign trade and measures for protecting the domestic market, as well as a provision for implementation of a single customs tariff.

Other chapters are devoted to implementation of macroeconomic, currency policies, regulations of financial markets, cooperation in the energy and transport, formation of common market of gas, oil and oil products, medicines and medical goods.

The agreement’s provisions regulate intellectual property and state purchases, the industries and agriculture, as well as labour migration and information services.

The Union is open for new members, if a country shares the Union’s objectives and approaches.

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