Putin: Eurasian Economic Union treaty to be ready for signing by May 2014
Moscow - A draft treaty to set up the planned Eurasian Economic Union is due to be ready for signature by May 2014, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We have instructed the governments of the three countries [Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan] to step up work so that the governments approve this plan by May 1 and the draft treaty is submitted for signature by May 2014, so that [the Eurasian Economic Union] is effective from January 1, 2015," Putin told reporters after a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow on Wednesday.
In comments on the Customs Union, Putin said trade between its member countries - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan - had grown 10% since the Union came into being while Russia's trade with the rest of the world had gone up only 4.7%.
He added that machinery and industrial equipment account for one-fifth of the volume of trade within the Customs Union whereas in Russia's trade with the rest of the world they only make up 2%.
"This means that we are not only acceptable in terms of labor productivity but that in terms of development of our transportation infrastructures and cooperation between our key enterprises we are very attractive and effective partners," he said.
The Customs Union helps its member countries become more competitive, he argued.
He also said an agreement had been reached at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting to do more intensive work on the worldwide role for the Eurasian Economic Union.
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