BISHKEK, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – Kyrgyzstan is on course to join the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus by the end of the current year, Russian Ambassador to the republic Andrei Krutko said on Tuesday.
Kyrgyzstan’s government declared the intention to join the Customs Union last spring. A working group is currently reconciling the positions of the concerned parties.
“Kyrgyzstan is the next country after the ‘troika’ to embark on the path of integration in the Eurasian area,” Krutko said.
“Work is now underway to prepare the Kyrgyz economy and legislation for accession to the Customs Union. Objectively, a basis for that is in place, and I believe Kyrgyzstan will be ready to join toward the end of the year.”
Since January 1, 2012, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have been part of a Customs Union, which allows for unrestricted movement of capital, goods and services across the three states’ national borders.
Russia sees this grouping as a stepping stone to a wide-ranging Eurasian Economic Union, and has even touted membership to Moldova and Ukraine, though Kiev has long harbored ambitions of moving closer to the EU.