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Eurasian Economic Union enters into force

03 january 2015, 13:24
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Presidents of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin ©RIA Novosti
Presidents of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin ©RIA Novosti

The Eurasian Economic Union has officially come into force on January 1, 2015, Tengrinews reports.

Yesterday, on January 2, Armenia joined Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia in the new Union, which provides for four key economic freedoms: freedom of movement of goods, services, capitals and labor. In addition, the member states have pledged to implement a coherent policy in energy, industry, agriculture and transport.

In 2016, a single pharmaceutical market is going to be created, in 2019 – a single electricity market, and in 2025 – a single market for oil, gas and petroleum products.

State-guaranteed free medical and social services will operate on the entire territory of the Eurasian Economic Union, meaning that citizens of a EEU member state will receive the same amount of medical care as local nationals in each of the member-states. Equal rights for all residents of the Eurasian Union also apply to receiving places in public kindergartens, studying at schools, universities and so on.

There is no agreement on a unified amount of pensions at this point, but worker seniority earned in any of the member states counts in all other countries of the Union. This will help address the problem of labor movement in the Union.

The EEC is now the largest single market in the CIS comprising 170 million people and 15% of world’s firm land. The Eurasian Economic Commission is located in Moscow, the Union’s financial regulator is in Almaty, and the court is in Minsk. Belarus is chairing the organization in 2015.

Armenia is entering the Union but enjoys transitional periods ranging between one year and eight years in several areas. This is done to give it time to harmonize rates of import duties, technical regulations, rules of movement of goods, as well as phytosanitary and veterinary standards.

President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev signed the Treaty of Accession to the Eurasian Economic Union at the end of December. The country is planning to finally join the Union and open its borders in May 2015.

The Eurasian Economic Union membership is open to other countries that share its aims and principles.

The idea of the Eurasian was put forward by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994. Now, twenty years later this idea is being realized.

The organization is beginning its work in extremely difficult political, economic and financial conditions. Its success now largely depends on Russia, which accounts for about 80 percent of the economic potential of the Union. But Western sanctions have led to a serious crisis in Russia and the ruble has significantly depreciated. The world oil prices are not helping the situation.

By Dinara Urazova


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