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Statement on entry into force of the customs code of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan

July 5, 2010, Astana

Meetings of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc) Interstate Council and the Supreme Governing Body of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have taken place in Kazakhstan.

The Astana meeting’s main result was the signing of a package of documents, including a statement by the Russian, Kazakhstani and Belarusian presidents on the entry into force of the customs code of the Customs Union between the three countries starting from July 6, 2010 (Russia and Kazakhstan began implementing the code in their relations on July 1). 

Taking part in the EurAsEC summit were the heads of state of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

They discussed joint measures to overcome the effects of the global financial and economic crisis, the establishment of a EurAsEC court, and the EurAsEC budget.

At the meeting of the Supreme Governing Body of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the presidents reviewed the work done so far to implement the first stage in the Customs Union’s creation.

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Press Statements following Meeting of the EurAsEC Interstate Council and Customs Union Supreme Governing Body:

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,

First of all, I want to thank [President of Kazakhstan] Mr Nazarbayev for this opportunity to meet in Astana to discuss the development prospects for EurAsEC and the Customs Union.

Ten years is a fairly long time, but in historic terms it is nothing at all. Sometimes we looked to be at a standstill, and seemed to be discussing issues seemingly already settled long before, but in reality we were making rapid progress. Just look at what we have achieved within EurAsEC, at how far we have come with Customs Union, compared to the pace of integration in Europe, say. We have been moving faster, although this does not mean that we have not had problems along the way, and indeed, we discuss many issues, debate them intensely at moments, but we always manage to reach agreements in the end, as today’s summit has just shown.

We have just held a meeting of the Customs Union’s Supreme Governing Body, and have signed a statement on the Customs Code’s entry into force. It will take effect in relations between our three countries starting on July 6, although Russia and Kazakhstan have been applying its provisions since July 1. We have also signed a whole series of international agreements regulating the legal and financial aspects of the Customs Union’s activities. We have approved many decisions on specific points. We still have a lot of work ahead on building up the Common Economic Space, but given there are a lot of benefits and advantages to be gained in this development I am sure that we will come to agreements on everything and approve all of the necessary decisions as swiftly as possible.

We spent some time discussing what we are doing to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis. It is good that this crisis is no longer occupying centre stage, but to be frank, we still have many problems to address. I will be briefing my colleagues today on the decisions taken at the G20 summit, and the work that still needs to be done, because the situation in the world’s 20 biggest economies, which together account for practically 85 percent of global GDP, will also have an impact on the integration process underway in EurAsEC and the Customs Union.

I am pleased that we have agreed on the status of the [EurAsEc] court, because we had made hardly any practical progress in this area before. The fact that we have reached an agreement on the court’s work is an indication that we are now entering the concluding stage in our integration, because a court is only needed when we have real relations of substance, which give rise to the possibility of real problems and disputes. It is very good that now, in line with the agreements reached, this statute will apply not only to relations between our three countries at the state level, but also to relations between our economic actors – the companies registered on the territory of the Customs Union and EurAsEC member countries.

A lot of work has been accomplished, and I would like to thank everyone involved – the governments and the secretariat. We have even more work still to come, but I nonetheless want to conclude by saying that our integration efforts are entering the advanced phase now, and this makes Russia happy.

July 5, 2010, Astana