Press Conferences

11 december, 2009 18:42

Heads of government delivered statements to the media following the meetings of the EurAsEC Interstate Council and the Supreme Body of the Customs Union

Heads of government delivered statements to the media following the meetings of the EurAsEC Interstate Council and the Supreme Body of the Customs Union

Vladimir Putin's address:

Ladies and gentlemen, two important and discussion-laden events have just concluded, specifically the meetings of the EurAsEC Interstate Council and of the Supreme Body of the Customs Union.

We considered a wide range of issues on our agenda, with a package of two dozen agreements signed, including agreements on the launch of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

In less than a month, on January 1, the Customs Union will begin operating in full. It would be no exaggeration to call this event a milestone for our three states and for the integration processes in the CIS.

The Customs Union is becoming the driver of the Eurasian Economic Community.

We expect the rest of our EurAsEC partners to join this policy in the future.

The launch of the Customs Union is a major step on the path to a common economic space with unrestricted goods, services, capital and workforce flow.

It is a distinctly higher level of integration. A total of 170 million people represent a big consumer market which will open new vistas for businesses and producers from our countries and increase investment attractiveness.

I am convinced that we will be motivated into a surge of development. The timeline for the implementation of these plans is very tight, with common customs territory regulations taking effect on July 1. The formation of our common economic space must be completed no later than in two years.

I would like to draw your attention to a crucial point. The creation of the common economic space (CES) will eliminate many protectionist barriers, fostering the creation of a favourable competitive environment. We will need to draw up unified standards for state purchases and for subsidising certain economic branches of our countries.

I have confidence that competitiveness in the common market will have a positive effect on the quality and prices of goods and services, and be a practical incentive for the comprehensive modernisation of our companies, production facilities and the economic sector in general.

At the meeting of the EurAsEC Interstate Council we shared information on the current state of our respective national economies and came to a unanimous conclusion that the bottom of the crisis is behind us. This was possible due to the efficient, timely and joint anti-recessionary measures, which were approved at the meeting of the Interstate Council in Moscow this June. However, the situation is still challenging, which is why we are determined to continue cooperating on the anti-recessionary plan.

The other issues discussed today included cooperation in high technologies, education, food security and immigration. Our contacts in these and other areas are developing successfully.

I would like to remind you that next year we will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the creation of EurAsEC, which has definitely become a fully-fledged interstate alliance. This organisation's authority and influence have increased. This community's performance is an example of open and mutually beneficial integration.

The agreements signed today, the business-like and constructive approach of the meeting participants testify that we will retain the positive dynamics of developing our partnership, achieving new and noteworthy results in the interests of our countries and nations.

Thank you for your attention.

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I would like to thank the media and say in conclusion that since the demise of the Soviet Union a lot of attempts have been made to restore the eroded ties and to foster integration in the post-Soviet countries. The CIS has been criticised broadly, along with other organisations which - I have to admit - have been wasting too much time on declarations. But these alliances have been useful.

As far as today's meeting is concerned, it would be no exaggeration to call it a big step in terms of achieving effective economic integration. It is a deep transformation which will have far-reaching economic and social effects for our nations.

Today's meeting contributes to coordinating our economic policies, which will result in effecting unified currency regulation policies in the near future. This meeting has also added up to establishing unified commerce policies and supporting particular economic branches, as well as to the creation of a single customs structure with no internal borders for our companies.

There are still a lot of acute problems to address. But what has been done so far deserves approval. I would like to thank our Kazakh and Belarusian partners for the job we have pulled off together. I hope that our activity will bring palpable fruits to our citizens, and that our EurAsEC colleagues will take an active part in this teamwork by taking the opportunity to join the Customs Union soon.

Thank you very much for your attention.