Kyrgyzstan officially became the fifth member the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) May 8, joining Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Armenia. The meeting of the five leaders, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko, Serzh Sargsyan and newest member Almazbek Atambayev took place in Moscow.
The parties discussed current EAEU issues, prospects for deepening partnership within the organisation and expansion of international cooperation, as well as the process of Kyrgyzstan’s accession into the union.
Addressing the participants at the meeting, Nazarbayev emphasised that one year had passed since the agreement was signed establishing the EAEU.
“I am convinced that an integration alliance based on equity of interests, pragmatism and gradualism can strengthen our states and economies in conditions of the global crisis. Since the EAEU started to function one year ago, the composition of the union enlarged with the accession of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. I believe that in the future, the cooperation will strengthen ties between our countries and will give a powerful impetus to the development of the Eurasian Union as a whole,” he said.
Nazarbayev noted growing interest of the international community in the economic union.
“Today, a number of states propose establishing trade and economic relations. For example, during the meeting of the intergovernmental council there were plans to sign the first agreement on a free trade zone between the EAEU and Vietnam. Also, our agenda includes the beginning of the negotiation process with China on concluding an agreement on partnership and cooperation. The next potential partners at this stage could become Turkey, Iran, India, Mongolia and Azerbaijan,” he added.
In his speech, Atambayev noted that in order to harmonise the legal framework of Kyrgyzstan with the standards of the EAEU, the country’s parliament has adopted the complete relevant legislative package. He also expressed his gratitude to the Russian and Kazakh sides for providing assistance to Kyrgyzstan in the framework of accession in the integration processes on a bilateral basis.
“I am convinced that the EAEU will bring a common good for our nations. The union will strengthen stability in the Eurasian space and give further movement to the whole of Eurasia,” Atambayev stressed.
The documents relating to Kyrgyzstan’s accession were signed following the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (SEEC). The paperwork consisted of the protocol on amendments to the EAEU agreement of May 29, 2014, separate international agreements included in the EAEU legislation framework and the protocol on conditions and transitional provisions for Kyrgyzstan’s EAEU application agreement, as well as the EAEU acts.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the less developed countries in Central Asia, with a per capita GDP under $1,300 in 2013, according to the World Bank.
The goals of the EAEU are the free movement of goods, services and capital, coordinated policies in agriculture and industry, cooperation in major infrastructure projects and formation of joint energy markets for natural gas and petroleum products.
Nazarbayev and Putin held a bilateral meeting the following day to discuss a wide range of issues concerning trade, economic, energy, space, cultural and humanitarian fields, as well as a number of topical issues of the regional and international agenda.
“We have been working together for more than 15 years and over these years relations between Kazakhstan and Russia have strengthened. We signed the Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Alliance in the 21st Century. Many issues find their solution in its framework. We have created the EAEU. Despite the fact that in the conditions of the global crisis trade between our countries decreased, I believe that the EAEU has great prospects. Bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Russia are developing in accordance with the agreements,” said Nazarbayev.
In turn, Putin congratulated Nazarbayev on his election victory and expressed hope for further fruitful cooperation between the two countries. He also thanked the Kazakh President for the initiatives in the field of integration processes.
“What we are doing today, additional steps to deepen our economic union, to a large extent is to your merit. I remember very well how you proposed establishing the Customs Union and then the EAEU. The most important is that everything connected with the development of Kazakhstan and development of integration processes is successfully being carried out,” said Putin.
After the SEEC meeting, the participants took part in an informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) heads of state, which also was attended by presidents Emomali Rakhmon (Tajikistan) and Islam Karimov (Uzbekistan), as well as CIS Executive Secretary and Chairman of the Executive Committee Sergey Lebedev.