March 11, 6:03
ST. PETERSBURG, October 19 (Itar-Tass) — Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have approved Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Customs Union, EurAsEC Secretary-General Tair Mansurov said on Wednesday.
“In the narrow format the heads of government took a decision on Kyrgyzstan’s joining of the Customs Union,” the EurAsEC secretary-general said at a session of the Interstate Council.
“A working group is being created. Then the Kyrgyz government will present its proposals. A chairman of the working group will be appointed and it will begin working and give reports at sessions of the Customs Union,” Mansurov said.
According to Kyrgyz acting Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov, “now we’re working out a plan on our accession to the Customs Union.”
Kyrgyzstan asked for joining the Customs Union in the spring. Earlier, a Russian government source said, “In compliance with the EurAsEC regulatory documents a working group should be set up for this purpose. It will begin its work and study documents that Kyrgyzstan should rely.”
According to the source, there is one particularity: Kyrgyzstan is a WTO member. Thus, the republic should take measures to bring its WTO obligations in line with the CU standards. Kyrgyzstan should agree with WTO partners that it will not change its customs tariff. “Naturally, the problem cannot be solved at once. But we believe that it is absolutely right and that Tajikistan would seek to join the Customs Union. We think that our EurAsEC partners are the candidates who are mostly interested in close interaction with the Customs Union,” the source said.
The acting Kyrgyz prime minister said Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Customs Union would make it possible to increase manifold trade and economic cooperation with Russia.
“Russia is the first economic partner of Kyrgyzstan. At present, it shows interest in the most promising fields, in particular in the energy sector. The three-year programme signed by the heads of government of our countries proves this,” Babanov said on October 17.
In his words, “under the programme, the parties intend to build more hydroelectric powers plants and develop the oil and gas sector of Kyrgyzstan. We are also actively discussing the development of military-technical cooperation.”
“As of today Russia supplies 95 percent of all oil products. After Russia lifts duties on lubricants this year, their consumers buy fuel on privilege prices,” the acting prime minister stressed.
Thus, “the burden has been lowered from ordinary people and the budget organisations”, he said. According to Babanov, totally it reaches about 350 million U.S. dollars. “Finally, all this has a positive impact on the product cost that is why I want to assure you that we’ve always felt the support from Russia,” the Kyrgyz acting prime minister pointed out.