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|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia. (December 2011)
Don't speak Russian? Click here to read a machine-translated version of the Russian article.
Евразийское экономическое сообщество
Eurasian Economic Community
|Headquarters||Almaty, Minsk, Moscow, Saint Petersburg|
|-||Secretary General||Tair Mansurov|
|-||Customs union||29 March 1996|
|-||OCAC merger||25 January 2006|
The Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC or EurAsEC) originated from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on 29 March 1996. The Treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Community was signed on 10 October 2000, in Kazakhstan's capital Astana by Presidents Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Emomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan. On 7 October 2005 it was decided between the member states that Uzbekistan would join. Freedom of movement is implemented among the members (no visa requirements). Common Economic Space was launched on 1 January 2010.
The Organization of Central Asian Cooperation (OCAC) (Central Asian Cooperation Organization, CACO, Russian: Центрально-Азиатское сотрудничество, ЦАС) was an international organization, composed of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia. Georgia and Ukraine had observer status. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan formed the OCAC in 1991 as Central Asian Commonwealth (CAC). The organization continued in 1994 as Central Asian Economic Union (CAEU), in which Tajikistan and Turkmenistan did not participate. In 1998 it became Central Asian Economic Cooperation (CAEC), which marked the return of Tajikistan.
On 28 February 2002, it was renamed to its current name. Russia joined on 28 May 2004. On 7 September 2005, at the St. Petersburg Summit of the Central Asian Cooperation Organization, it was agreed to merge CACO into EurAsEC.
In October 2005, Uzbekistan applied for membership in EAEC. OCAC has de facto dissolved on 25 January 2006, when Uzbekistan joined EAEC. But later in 2008 Uzbekistan has decided to temporarily suspend its membership.
EAEC was established for effective promotion of the creation by the Customs Union member states of a Single Economic Space and for coordinating their approaches while integrating into the world economy and the international trade system. One of the Organization's chief activity vectors is ensuring the dynamic evolution of the Community states through coordinating their economic and social reforms while effectively using their economic potentials to improve the living standards of their peoples. Among the principal tasks of the Community are:
|Country||Population||GDP 2006 (USD)||GDP 2007 (USD)||growth||per capita|
After discussion about the creation of a common economic space between the CIS countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, agreement in principle about the creation of this space was announced after a meeting in the Moscow suburb of Novo-Ogarevo on 23 February 2003. The Common Economic Space would involve a supranational commission on trade and tariffs that would be based in Kiev, would initially be headed by a representative of Kazakhstan, and would not be subordinate to the governments of the four nations. The ultimate goal would be a regional organisation that would be open for other countries to join as well, and could eventually lead even to a single currency. On 22 May 2003 The Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) voted 266 votes in favour and 51 against the joint economic space. However, Viktor Yushchenko's victory in the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004 was a significant blow against the project: Yushchenko had shown renewed interest in Ukrainian membership in the European Union, and such membership would have been incompatible with the envisioned common economic space. On March 1, 2010 the first deputy head of the presidential administration of newly elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Iryna Akymova stated that Ukraine does not intend to join the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in the near future "Since the customs union contradicts and will greatly complicate Ukraine's membership in the WTO".
The EurAsEC Customs Union became a top priority since Spring 2008, when the EU announced its Eastern Partnership. Since that time, there has been discord between the EU and Russia with both sides accusing the other of attempting to carve out spheres of influence over the countries at issue (Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). A supranational body of the customs union—the EurAsEC Customs Union Commission--was established on December 12, 2008. Boiled down to its essence, Russia has offered EurAsEC members access to its markets (i.e., for Kazakhstan) and lower energy prices (i.e., Belarus, Ukraine). The EU's offer to membership countries amounts to promises of de facto EU integration, such as relaxed visa entry requirements.
The Customs Union members—Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia—reached an agreement on a unified customs tariff in June 2009 and endorsed a schedule for creating a unified customs territory.
According to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev the creation of a common economic space for Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus may be launched on 1 January 2010. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on 10 December 2008 that Moscow is ready to build a common economic space with both Europe and the United States if every party is treated equally. According to reports from April 2010, the new Customs Union is intended to go into effect on July 1, 2010.
The Russian, Kazakhstani, and Belarusian leaders have approved documents to establish a “common economic space” on 1 January 2012 – a single market for goods, investment, and labor.
Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed the creation of a common noncash currency called yevraz for the community. This would help insulate the countries from the global economic crisis.
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