World Economy

Russia, Belarus Customs Union Vital to Kazakhs

Russia, Belarus Customs Union Vital to KazakhsRussia, Belarus Customs Union Vital to Kazakhs

Unobstructed movement of goods is of major importance for landlocked Kazakhstan, which together with Belarus, has a free trade deal with Russia as part of the Customs Union between the three states, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Thursday.

“An economic union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus will start operating next year. Our aim is purely pragmatic since Russia is our main partner and we share a common border of more than 7,500 kilometers,” Itar Tass quoted Nazarbayev as saying.

The president stressed that Kazakhstan, located in the very heart of the Eurasian continent, has no access to the sea.  “That is why the Customs Union, which removes customs barriers and allows our cargoes to easily reach external markets, is very important for us,” he said.

The Eurasian Economic Union, which envisages free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce and is based on the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, will become operational from January 1 next year.

A treaty to create the union was signed by the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Alexander Lukashenko, in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in May.