Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia

February 21, 2013

There has been some concern over the new Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia which came into effect after July 2011. On November 19, 2011 the founding member states put together a joint commission on fostering closer economic ties, planning to create a Eurasian Union by 2015 – from January 1, 2012, the three states have begun introducing a single economic space, along with the Russian Federation’s entry into the WTO. The United States seems mildly opposed to the Customs Union, seeing it as an attempt to reestablish a Russian dominated Soviet-type union amongst the Post-USSR states. So far this has not been the case – in fact it has allowed greater cross territory trade to take that otherwise would have been 10s of billions USD less! Armenia, the Ukraine,  Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan are due to decide on union status in 2013 along with oddly enough Vietnam?

The US is mildly opposed to the Customs Union, seeing it as an attempt to reestablish a Russian dominated Soviet-like union amongst the former USSR republics as mentioned earlier, Former Secretary of State Clinton stated in December 2012: `It’s not going to be called that [USSR]. It’s going to be called customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that, but let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.’ Again much of this fervor has been dismissed by the business world, the IMF and the World Bank.

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