EEU compromised on several issues: Putin

 Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) leaders have compromised on a number of issues, hampering closer integration.

IANS| Last Updated: Dec 24, 2014, 06:56 AM IST

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) leaders have compromised on a number of issues, hampering closer integration.

"We have had a fairly active, I would say heated, discussion... Overall, we have made compromises on all key problems," Putin said after a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, according to a Xinhua report.

The council comprises heads of states and governments of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which are the founding members of the Customs Union (CU) and Common Economic Space.

The leaders of the three CU countries, May 29, signed a treaty in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, to form the EEU on the basis of the CU. 

The treaty, which aims to create the necessary legal framework for the establishment of the EEU, will take effect Jan 1, 2015.

In spite of the agreements that have been achieved, more tasks were still waiting to be taken up, Putin said, as he called for "unified efforts" to overcome problems.

During Tuesday`s meeting, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko lamented that the Common Economic Space did not function as designed, with trade barriers still in place between the participating countries.

He cautioned against rendering the EEU "just another CIS", which he felt, would be a "step backward".

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, on the other hand, emphasised on being prepared for new challenges brought about by the current unstable global markets and geopolitical situation.

Putin stressed during the meeting that the launch of the EEU meant transition to more advanced integration among the post-Soviet countries, giving additional spur to the economic development of the participating countries.

He added that the Eurasian integration is built on the basis of mutual benefit and respect, taking each other`s opinions into consideration.

The aggregate GDP of the EEU economies, with a population exceeding 170 million, will surpass $4.5 trillion, according to Putin, who said that the integration process has already brought about real benefits, with the removal of customs and administrative barriers, as well as expanded opportunities for joint investment.

From the start of 2015, the EEU, currently comprising its founding members Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, will be supplemented by Armenia, while Kyrgyzstan has also signed a deal to join the union.

Besides, the EEU has been negotiating with India, Vietnam, Israel, Turkey and Uzbekistan on the possibility of free trade agreements.