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President Vladimir Putin attended a meeting of the Customs Union's Intergovernmental Council

May 23, 2000, Minsk

The main result of the meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan was the decision to establish an international economic organisation based on the Customs Union.

The leaders of the “group of five” and the Integration Committee were instructed to set up a working group before September 1, 2000 to deal with this issue.

The new body is supposed to perform functions related to WTO accession, the establishment of external customs borders, formulating a united foreign economic policy, tariffs and prices.

At a news conference on the results of the meeting, Mr Putin said that upgrading the Customs Union’s status to that of an international economic organisation would give a fresh impetus to integration processes.

May 23, 2000, Minsk